In a world where our communities depend on us being available and helpful to one another, it’s important to consider how our own well-being can impact our ability to be selfless.
According to a new study, lack of quality sleep could be one factor that makes us more selfish.
A New Study Finds Link Between Lack of Sleep and Selfishness
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that participants who were sleep-deprived were more likely to prioritize their own needs and desires over those of others. This is in contrast to individuals who had adequate sleep, who were more likely to exhibit selfless behavior and prioritize the needs of others.
This study builds on previous research conducted by the same team of researchers linking sleep loss to basic emotional operations and more complex socio-emotional functioning. This includes loneliness, helping behavior, abusive behavior, and charisma. The researchers concluded that adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining healthy social interactions and relationships.
How Lack of Sleep Can Make You More Selfish
Sleep deprivation can impair cognitive function, leading to a decrease in empathy and social awareness. When we are sleep deprived, our ability to regulate our own emotions and understand and respond to the emotional state of others can be compromised, making it more difficult for us to engage in selfless behavior.
Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to increased feelings of irritability, stress, anger, aggression, and anxiety, which may also contribute to selfish behavior. When we are feeling overwhelmed, it is natural to prioritize our own needs and wants in order to reduce our stress levels. However, this can lead to reduced consideration for others and ultimately result in selfish behavior.
Self-Care for Selfless Service
Taking the time to prioritize our own self-care can help us be more present and available to help others.
By getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that nourish our minds and bodies, we prepare ourselves to be more empathetic and selfless in our interactions with others.
Here are a few quick tips for improving your sleep habits:
● Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Aim to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
● Create a sleep-friendly environment: Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
● Practice relaxation techniques: Before bed, try activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to help you relax and prepare for sleep.
● Avoid screens before bed: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your body’s natural sleep cycle. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed.