Psychological testing lab

Abstract

There is surprisingly little information known on the effect of lack of sleep on the effective operation and processing of the human brain. A couple of research have however been done along this line. There is however enough previous clinical introspection and evidence that suggests sensitivity of the emotional functioning to loss of sleep. Very few published experimental works are however in existence with the earliest having been published in the year 2007. In this paper, a description of a prototype for measurement of emotional feelings and behaviors resulting from lack of sleep is done. The paper illustrates studied data trends from a population sample which has been analyzed with the help of appropriate data analysis tools in order to establish the trend. Confusion, fatigue and vigor emotional facets were found to be more sensitive to loss of sleep as compared the other facet moods like anger, anxiety and depression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The key goal of the study undertaken here in is to realize the relationship between affective processes of humans and lack of adequate sleep, (Hale, 2014). This understanding and the kinowledge gained thereof is of significance in both applied and theoretical dimensions. From recent epidemological studies, it has been demonstrated that a considerable proportion of the sociery lacks enough sleep, (Bakris, 2012). Depsite adequate studies on the precesne of cognitive impacts associated with this, not much has been done previously on the emotional consequences. There is hower reports on this present in a couple of journals but rather based on anecdote, indirect evidences and or opinions, (Palma). The significance of gathering objective data from settings that are uncontrolled is therefore necessary for relevant contribution and understanding of the impacts of lack of adequate sleep on the emotional behaviours of people. Sleep has been universally agreed upon in definitive terms as a phenomenon that integrates biology and behavior, (Bakris, 2012). It is an irreversible state of behavior where oneis disengaged in perception and response with the environment, (Hale, 2014). Previous studies on animals have porven that this is an important biological requirement and a demonstration that severe deprivation of sleep would lead to deaths, (Bakris, 2012). Nonetheless, the efforts to clearly distinguish sleep’s biological function have been somehow difficult. It has emerged from other studies that sleep, just like circadian rhythmicity is involved too in the biological processes like immune system functioning and metabolism, (Gordis et al, 2006).

 

It has been proven clinically that those individuals who suffer from inadequate sleep are victims of medical and psychiatric disorders. The relationship is strong to the extent that poor sleeping habits are part of the diagnostic consideration for some of the most critical health and mental challenges,(Zohar, et al,. 2005). Some of these include Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression. It is important that the role played by sleep in the emotional functioning of people since this would assist to dissociate real symptoms of the psychiatric disturbances resulting from the secondary factors and symptoms triggered by disturbances of sleep, (Yoo, et al., 2007). Related dissociations would also assist in the development of new treatments and in the decision making on whether one’s medical condition like sleep apnea would also need psychiatric diagnosis. At the moment, related decisions have focused on clinical judgment and this varies greatly depending with the medical practitioner, (Zohar, et al. 2003). Advances in technology have made it possible for researchers to investigate extensively the neural correlation with emotion. The current views between emotion and sleep have a huge reliance on the neuroimaging research, (Zohar, et al, 2005).

The understanding of the link between emotions and lack of sleep would also boost on the public’s overall theoretical comprehension of the significance of adequate sleep, (Minkel et al., 2009). There exists convincing evidences that of the critical role played by sleep in most biological processes, (Elsevier, et al., 2003). Such processes include regulation of the body energy, stability and functioning of the body’s immune system, and the neurocognitive abilities like inhibitory control and vigilance attention. There have however been few doubts on the contribution of sleep to the proper functioning of the emotions, (Yoo, et al., 2007). This is due to the little knowledge available on the nature of the affective changes.

The study contained herein presents a contribution in the documentation and understanding of the critical effects of loss of sleep on the important emotional aspects of the human being like stress, mood and emotion. The research focuses on the overall psychological audience. However, there is warranty of the need for sleep research and affective science review. Data from sampled participants on the rating of the studied 100 emotions is analyzed with inclination on the emotion’s relationship with lack of sleep. It is from these that a discussion is ensued for conclusions.

Methodology

This experiment was designed to determine the effect of lack of sleep on the human behavior. The data collected was used to draw a correlation between human characteristics such as sluggish, melancholy, attentive, enthusiastic, and downhearted and behavior. The subjects considered in the study were 245 volunteers. The study sample size was selected randomly and the subjects provided an informed consent after being taken through the purpose the study (Flory, 2004). All the respondents selected gave a written informed consent with all the ethical requirements of research taken into considerations. This included providing compensation and also ensuring the results among them after the research, (Kirschbaum et al., 1993).

All the subjects were pre-screened before selection to ensure they had no psychiatric, medical, and/or sleep-related disorders. This included ensuring that they are not under the influence of any drug including restricting access to alcohol and any other substance that would contain caffeine. The checks were conducted by reviewing the medical history of the respondents, conducting a physical examination and administration of psychological questionnaires, and by urine and clinical blood laboratory tests and also toxicological screening (Moldofsky et al., 1989).

The respondents completed the tests in the laboratory under controlled conditions and adhering strict schedules for time in bed. At the scheduled times, the respondents were kept awake in the laboratory with continuous behavior monitoring in which case they underwent a cognitive testing that was followed by mood questionnaire. The aspects of the behavior monitored included happiness, determination, satisfaction, interest, cheerfulness, attentiveness, compassion etc (Moldofsky et al., 1989). Between the various tests the subjects were allowed to relax by watching movies, reading books and interacting with one another including interaction with the staff members. No member was allowed to undertake any strenuous activity as this would distort the results obtained. The lighting levels during the study were kept dim (usually below 30 lux) without any direct daylight entering the facility. This is to ensure that any of the behaviors observed are as a result of lack of sleep (Kerkhof, 2010). At the scheduled times, all the lights in the room were turned off with the subjects being monitored closely using a closed infrared camera.

Statistical Approach

The goals of the analyses included determining the aspects of the mood that were sensitive to lack of sleep and also examining relative relationship between the different types of mood aspects that are sensitive to loss in sleep and the objective of measuring the behavioral alertness.

Swing in moods during sleep restriction: The goal was achieved by comparing the moods at baseline with the mood after five nights of restricted sleep. The daily averages of the responses were the calculated based on the various items listed in the results section. The primary review of the results was carried out using repeated measures of the ANOVA (Borbély et al., 1981). The analyses was conducted first on the composite mood scale considering the Total Mood Disturbance then followed by a consideration on each of the mood subscales. The mood variable was considered as a repeated measure under experimental conditions between the various subjects factor. The significant interactions between the mood and the conditions of sleep were interpreted as the evidence that there is a major impact of lack of sleep on the mood variable.

Also included to the inferential statistics are the efforts made to precisely describe the direction and size of the effect. The effect of the sizes of the population was calculated within the subjects considered using the pooled standard deviations from the specific days rather than using the paired t-test values. This is to provide a more conservative estimate on the effect of the population size (Minkel, 2010).

The study was also to evaluate the dependency of the behavioral alertness on the mood. The aspects of the mood were tracked based on the PVT. A Pearson correlation was used independently for all the respondents considered on the mean reaction time instead of considering group values. The results for the first day were not considered to reduce the probability of exaggerated estimates as a result of measurements taken before sleepiness on the subjects was induced (Harrison & Horne, 2000). The correlation was calculated based on the rest of the days. The summary of the results was then presented. A group level correlation of the reaction time and mood is evaluated using the daily averages of the reaction times and mood in order to test the appropriateness of the statistical approach (Samkoff & Jacques, 1991).

Results

A correlation analysis of the studied emotional behavioral trends from the sample questionnaires administered to the random to the population was done. Table one above illustrated the derived standard deviation and mean analysis of the sampled emotional behaviors and their relation with inadequate sleep. From the analysis, it is found that emotional behaviors like irritation, annoyance, sluggishness, dissatisfaction, anxiety, frustration and being upset have the highest mean response as compared to the others.

This could be interpreted to mean that sleep has the greatest of its effects on these behaviors according to the interviewees’ responses. Of these, sluggishness had the highest mean of occurrence. On the other hand, pain and sorrow occurrence from inadequate sleep would have be the least impacted emotional behaviors. At least either of the emotions had an associated response from the study population. This would attract a general view that inadequate sleep would anyhow have a general effect on an individual’s behavior.

Figure 1: The mean and standard deviation of the respondents’ responses

Figure 2: The correlation matrix between the emotional behaviors

The table 2 on the other hand illustrates the correlation between the various emotional behaviors studied from the 245 respondent.

 

Figure 3: Correlation matrix between the behaviors

Figure 4 : The correlation matrix of the behaviors

Figure 5 : The correlation matrix table of the behavior trend

Figure 6: Continuation of the behavioral analysis of emotions from the respondents views – correlation matrix

Discussion

The behavioral trends as viewed from the analysis in the results section above depict a relationship between the lack of sleep and some emotional trends. From the results, correlation analysis between the studied emotional behavioral trends from the sample questionnaires administered to the random population of 250 respondents was done. Table one above illustrated the derived standard deviation and mean analysis of the sampled emotional behaviors and their relation with inadequate sleep. From the analysis, it is found that emotional behaviors like irritation, annoyance, sluggishness, dissatisfaction, anxiety, frustration and being upset have the highest mean response as compared to the others. This could be interpreted to mean that sleep has the greatest of its effects on these behaviors according to the interviewees’ responses. Of these, sluggishness had the highest mean of occurrence. On the other hand, pain and sorrow occurrence from inadequate sleep would have be the least impacted emotional behaviors. At least either of the emotions had an associated response from the study population. This would attract a general view that inadequate sleep would anyhow have a general effect on an individual’s behavior.

A general positive correlation trend was observed on the undesirable negative emotional disorders courtesy of deprived sleep. For instance, table one’s correlation analysis returned positive for all the emotions. These included wrath, sadness, loneliness, dismay, jittery, shaky, rage, and dismay, blue among the others. It is evident from the mean of response that sleep deficiency has a negative impact to one’s emotional patterns. This disparity is brought clearly by the negative correlation in the behaviors like relaxed, pleased, excited, gloomy, and inspired and joy depicted in the table 6 above. Most of these desired emotional behaviors had a correlation of zero or negative. This is to say that lack of sleep was in no way related to such desired emotional behaviors. From this illustration, it could therefore be concluded that there is a notably greater impact resulting from sleep deficiency on most emotional disorders in human beings. This observation is in agreement with a couple of related research works, (Haack, & Mullington, 2009)

Conclusion

Inadequate sleep has undesirable effects to a human’s emotional behaviors. This could also lead to a number of mental health disorders as indicated by previous studies. This experimental study stresses on the observations and suggestions from such studies. From a sample of 250 respondents, a general trend is observed as regards the research hypothesis. A number of emotional patterns were investigated and the respondents’ views analyzed for correlation. Over 100 of the known emotional behaviors in humans formed the basis of this test. The study was also to evaluate the dependency of the behavioral alertness on the mood. The aspects of the mood were tracked based on the PVT. A Pearson correlation was used independently for all the respondents considered on the mean reaction time instead of considering group values. The results for the first day were not considered to reduce the probability of exaggerated estimates as a result of measurements taken before sleepiness on the subjects was induced

References

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