traumatic eventsMany of us believe that a good sleep can be a perfect remedy for stresses, negative experiences, bad memories, anxiety, and other related disorders. Certainly, sleeping can help us relax, get a good physical rest, restore our energy and get ready for all the challenges of a new day. However, a new study by American scientists has shown that sleeping after certain emotional or traumatic events can actually play a negative role and cement bad emotions or memories right in our mind for quite a long time. That is why the experts suggest that when something extraordinary and traumatic occurs, sleeping may not be too good idea.

The study carried out by a group of experts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, included interviewing 100 volunteers, male and female adults without emotional and mental problems,in order to evaluate their feelings and emotional responses to looking at a series of images, different by their nature. At that, some images were relaxing, and some had very unsettling and worrying scenes.  emotional reactionsThe participants were interviewed after being exposed to those images and asked to rate the emotions they experienced after watching the images.

After that, 100 participants were divided into 2 groups. The members of the first group were asked to have a good sleep within the next 12 hours, and the members of the other group remained awake. After that, all the participants were interviewed and asked to rate their emotional responses again. It turned out that those who were asked to stay awake had much weaker emotional response to the unsettling images than those participants who had some sleep. After sleeping, the participants have shown much higher emotional reactions and quite clear memories about the images that evoked negative emotions.

It’s true that ‘sleeping on it’ is usually a good thing to do. It’s just when something truly traumatic or out of the ordinary happens that you might want to stay awake,” Rebecca Spencer, a study leader and a leading neuroscientist at UMass Amherst, commented on the findings of her expert team. She underlined that such biological responses are recognized by our body and mind, that’s why some people find it quite difficult and disturbing to sleep after emotional or traumatic events. However, our daily negative emotions and worries should not be a reason for sleep derivation. “Just because we have a bad day doesn’t mean we should stay awake,” Spencer said. Read more about this interesting research in the January issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

One Response to “Sleep Can Boost Negative Emotions And Memories”

  1. Diane PalmerNo Gravatar Says:

    Your article was very interesting. People should read more before going to the doctor for drugs. Drugs can lead to all kinds of side effects and become habit forming. All natural herbs can heal your body without all the worry of side effects.