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To sleep, perchance to make good choices

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Get your sleep or watch your decision-making skills decline. That’s the advice from Duke University researchers who studied people denied sleep for 24 hours and found that their decision-making capabilities declined in critical ways. The subjects, studied while betting in a simulated gambling game, showed the following lapses of judgment when compared to well-rested individuals:
  • The sleep-deprived subjects took bigger risks, based on wishful thinking.

  • They got less upset after losses.

  • They felt less guilty after making bad choices.
The net result according to Michael Chee, who headed the study, is that if you are sleep-deprived, “You become insensitive to losses and you place high bets with expectations to win. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

—Adapted from “Fired Up On No Sleep: Fatigue’s Neural Double Whammy,” Peter Sergo, Psychology Today.

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