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Study: Self-control starts with a good nights sleep

Bad sleep habits could make you more impulsive, potentially leading to risky behavior in your work and personal life, according to a new study.

"Our study explored how sleep habits and self-control are interwoven and how sleep habits and self-control may work together to affect a person's daily functioning," says June Pilcher of Clemson University in the US.

Studies have shown that time spent sleeping is dwindling in today's busy society and that more and more people are adopting irregular sleeping patterns, which is to blame for poor decision-making.

"Exercising self-control allows one to make better choices when presented with conflicting desires and opportunities," says Pilcher. "That has far-reaching implications to a person's career and personal life."

Stable energy reserves come from healthy sleep habits, according to the study, and with that we are less likely to bypass difficult tasks.

While improved performance on the job and better health are clear benefits of regular sleep, the study concluded that substance abuse, gambling and excessive spending could be curbed with proper sleep habits.

The paper was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

In a 2013 paper published in the journal Obesity, a research team concluded that just one night of sleep deprivation led people to purchase more food of greater calorie content than they would had they slept well.

Increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin in the blood were present, yet curiously, the team found no correlation between ghrelin and purchasing.

Instead, they pointed to impulsive decision making as the likely culprit of the spending sprees they witnessed.

What's more, a recent study suggests that individuals with hoarding disorder could be sleep deprived.

"Hoarders typically have problems with decision making and executive function," said lead author Pamela Thacher of St. Lawrence University in the US. "Poor sleep is known to compromise cognition generally, so if hoarders have cluttered bedrooms, any existing risk for cognitive dysfunction, depression and stress may increase as sleep quality worsens."

The study was presented on June 8 in Seattle, Washington in the US during the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.


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