Have you ever suffered from poor sleep and then found yourself boiling over with rage at the smallest thing or feeling irrational when it came to a certain problem or situation?
Turns out you may be suffering from ‘slanger’ – the seething anger that consumes a person when they don’t get enough sleep!
US scientists have found that slanger is the sleep equivalent of the condition ‘hanger’ – rage driven by lack of food – and disproportionately affects women, as they are more susceptible to the ill-effects of sleep deprivation and become more hostile and angry than men.
We all know that sleep is essential for health and wellbeing – it makes you look better, feel better, perform better, think better and behave better. We also know lack of sleep makes us grumpy and irritable, liable to mood swings as well as impacting on our concentration and memory. But while most of us can handle a few broken nights without feeling murderous, there are those that obviously can’t.
Research shows that getting too little sleep at night harms the brain’s ability to regulate emotions and cope with anxiety. Sleep deprivation raises average daily blood pressure and your heart rate and affects the body’s immune system the same way physical stress does*. Lack of sleep affects the body’s ability to metabolise serotonin – a chemical in the brain that regulates mood and energy – and when it’s disrupted we experience symptoms of anxiety, depression and lethargy.
With a third of Brits getting by on less than seven hours sleep a night, is ‘slanger’ on the increase?
As a good night’s sleep can’t always be guaranteed, it is up to individuals to learn to control their ‘slanger’ by regularly assessing their sleep quality and comfort levels. Practice as many good sleep habits as possible – keep regular hours, follow a bedtime routine, create a restful sleeping environment, consider how comfortable your bed is and make sure you don’t eat too close to bedtime, avoid caffeine and alcohol and exercise throughout the day.
*Tel Aviv University, December 2015; Eramus MC University Medical Center, Netherlands and University of Surrey study, July 2012