A lack of sleep affects people’s ability to feel for others. Sleep deprivation and emotional fatigue can hit anyone, but first responders and health-care workers are especially vulnerable due to shift work, long hours, and the overall stressful nature of their jobs.
A study conducted by cognitive neuroscience researchers Veronica Guadagni and Giuseppe Iaria was designed to help us understand how a single night without sleep would impact people’s ability to understand the emotions of others. By measuring the empathy of a group of university students before and after a full night awake engaging in activities, vs a second group of students who were sent home for a night’s rest, the results established that the sleep-deprived students felt less empathy for people in negative situations than students who had had a good night’s sleep.
Chronic poor sleep quality is also linked with lower empathy for others and is very often found in paramedics who experience chronic sleep loss due to scheduling.
Read the full article here: https://www.psypost.org/2021/10/sleep-loss-affects-how-paramedics-and-health-care-workers-respond-to-patients-feelings-62045