Sleep and Your Decision Making Ability

Have you ever been so tired that you have trouble doing the simplest of tasks?  Or uttered the words

 I’m so tired that I can’t think straight?

Well, you are correct!

Studies have proven a link between the amount of sleep and the decision-making process.  Sleep researcher at Washington State University (WSU) have created an experiment that allows them to simulate how excessive sleep loss impacts decision-making in crisis situations.  Their findings provide a new understanding of how sleeplessness impacts your ability to make astute decisions in everyday life and crisis situations.  Prior studies of sleep loss and decision making have not realized how important adapting to changing circumstances is in determining when sleep loss will lead to decision-making failures.

The results reveal that no matter how hard a sleep-deprived person tried to make the right decision, sleeplessness created short-circuits in the brain that prevented them from making the right choice.  This study provides new insights into how sleep deprivation can lead to fatal errors of judgement in real life circumstances.

In another study conducted at Duke University, researchers determined that gambling after little sleep leaves people hoping for a big win instead of trying to minimize their loss.  It appears that a lack of sleep encourages gamblers to place bets that they might not have otherwise wagered because they became overly optimistic.  The ability to determine the odds of winning and losing were affected.

This inability to make decisions when you are sleep deprived affects all aspects of your life, including the ability to make the correct financial decisions.  The impact of sleep loss impacts not just your physical and mental health, but impairs your self-control.  Making impulsive purchases or poor investment decisions could impact your future and the ability to recover from the consequences.

Many aspects of our lives can be improved with a better managed sleep cycle.  Getting to bed at the same time and waking up and the same time can improve your quality of life.  And  new  studies have proven the benefits of napping to reduce the negative effects of sleep deprivation.

So get some sleep to ensure that you can make the correct life decisions for today and tomorrow.

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The foregoing content reflects the opinions of Crimmins Wealth Management and is subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that the statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.

About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN


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