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Emotion. 2010 Dec;10(6):831-41. doi: 10.1037/a0020138.

Sleep deprivation in adolescents and adults: changes in affect.

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  • 1Department of Psychology. University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1650, USA.


The present study investigated the impact of sleep deprivation on several aspects of affective functioning in healthy participants selected from three different developmental periods: early adolescence (ages 10-13), midadolescence (ages 13-16), and adulthood (ages 30-60). Participants completed an affective functioning battery under conditions of sleep deprivation (a maximum of 6.5 hours total sleep time on the first night followed by a maximum of 2 hours total sleep time on the second night) and rest (approximately 7-8 hours total sleep time each night for two consecutive nights). Less positive affect was observed in the sleep-deprived, compared to rested, condition. This effect held for 9 of the 12 positive affect items on the PANAS-C. Participants also reported a greater increase in anxiety during a catastrophizing task and rated the likelihood of potential catastrophes as higher when sleep deprived, relative to when rested. Early adolescents appraised their main worry as more threatening when sleep deprived, relative to when rested. These results support and extend previous research underscoring the adverse affective consequences of sleep deprivation.

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