'How Sleep Affects Your Emotions' is an informative video by Matt Walker, an award-winning sleep scientist, professor and author whose "research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease." Walker has a PhD from the Medical Research Council in London, UK, has been a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is currently a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science.
His talk about sleep and emotions is part of TED's Sleeping With Science series, made possible in partnership with sponsor Beautyrest. Walker begins by exploring how a lack of sleep impacts our brain and emotions, leading to irrational and hyperactive behavior from those without enough rest. He dives deeper into this topic by recalling a study of sleep deprived and well rested subjects whose emotional brain reactions were monitored via an MRI scan.
While those with a proper night's sleep showcased moderate emotional reactions that were appropriate and manageable, those lacking sleep experienced a hyperactive amygdala or brain center and processed emotions much more intensely. The speaker dives even deeper into the topic by examining how the pre-frontal cortex of the brain is also impacted by a lack of sleep and suggests that time spent sleeping effectively helps mend the effects of stress experienced in one's daily life.