Individuals who choose to re-live college and go without sleep for a night may end up feeling strangely euphoric in the morning, but the positive emotions may soon be followed by bad decisions, addictive behavior, and irritability.
Researchers divided a group of 27 young adults into two groups: one that had a good night’s sleep and another that pulled an all-nighter. When examining brain images of all participants, the team found that those who were sleep-deprived experienced stimulation that caused short-term dopamine release.
Also, the tired participants were more likely to rate pictures of puppies and ice cream cones more positively than those who were well-rested.
This optimism may lead these individuals to overlook the consequences of decisions, study authors said. The results of the trial support findings recently reported by researchers at Duke University.
“We need to ensure that people making high-stakes decisions, from medical professionals to airline pilots to new parents, get enough sleep,” said Matthew Walker, lead researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.