In the past, researchers have already established a link between inadequate sleep and anxiety. An new study has been able to quantify exactly how much sleep affects anxiety and has estimated that insufficient sleep can cause anxiety to rise by up to 30%.
The study was able to show that after a sleepless night, the brain area that normally reduces stress and anxiety called the medial prefrontal cortex, was deactivated. However, other areas of the brain that are related to processing emotions showed heightened activity.
Scientists also found out that anxiety levels were significantly reduced after a full night of sleep. In fact, the more people spent time in ‘deep sleep’, the more noticeable the reduction in anxiety.
The study was able to highlight a novel function of deep sleep which is the reduction of anxiety.