Sleep Is Tied to Generosity


Are you feeling extra generous today? Did you ever think that your desire to help others may be related to the sleep you got the night before? In this sleep bite, I'm going to give you a high-level overview of a recent study linking the amount of sleep to generosity. And because I'm feeling extra generous, if you stick around until the end, I have a special surprise to share with you. And yes, I got a good night's sleep last night.


So in this study, researchers took 23 adults and gave them a 40-question altruism questionnaire that had questions like if I was in a hurry to get to work and someone stopped to ask me for directions I would blank or I would help a stranger struggling with her grocery bags to carry them. The scale of possible responses ranged from oh, I would definitely help, to I would ignore them completely. The participants were given the questionnaire after a full night of sleep and after a night of sleep deprivation. The study results showed a significant decrease in altruistic or generous responses after the night of sleep deprivation in nearly 80% of the subjects. And these changes were not related to the level of fatigue or mood.


In fact, functional brain imaging or fMRI that was done on the participants suggested a unique neural pathway that was associated with this lack of generosity. And surprisingly, the reduced Altruism after sleep loss did not only apply to strangers, but also to scenarios of helping friends or colleagues with really no significant differences between those two. So additionally, these researchers have gone on to show that charitable giving is decreased after the sleep loss associated with springtime Daylight Savings time. This suggests that even 1 hour of sleep loss is enough to influence the choice to help another. So the next time you look away when someone needs help, think back to how much sleep you got or didn't get the night before, and commit to prioritizing enough sleep for yourself, but also to make it a better world.


Now, for my surprise, a puppy.


 Get enough sleep, everyone. We'll see you next week.

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