Lack of sleep makes us take risks
WORLD leaders from Margaret Thatcher to Donald Trump have famously got by on only four or five hours of sleep a night.
But science now shows someone with their finger on the nuclear red button should really be getting a few more hours in bed.
Missing out on sleep causes people to take riskier decisions, a study has found, and can change them from being riskaverse to risk-taking.
In a finding described as alarming by the researchers, those whose sleep is cut back to five hours a night take these risks without realising they are doing so. Asked if they are behaving more recklessly than usual or taking more chances, they say they are not.
The results emerged from a study of 14 men in a financial game, in which they gambled for a cash sum.
However, the authors said the results also related to politicians, bankers and businessmen.
Co-author Christian Baumann, professor of neurology at Zurich University, said: “To some extent, these findings are frightening. There are people who can call themselves short-sleepers and keep their risky behaviour to a minimum, but most of us increase our risk-taking when sleep-deprived. We know Trump sleeps for four or five hours a night, which these results suggest is of concern. Politicians who take decisions of great importance for the world, and business leaders who think missing out on sleep makes them more productive, should take note.”
The study, published in the journal Annals Of Neurology, suggests the rise in dangerous behaviour is because of changes in the brain. The authors found slow sleep waves were reduced in the right prefrontal cortex, which previous studies showed were linked to higher risk-seeking behaviour. – Daily Mail