Research at the University of Washington and John Hopkins University has found there to be a link between the amount of sleep we get and our morality.
While researchers have continually shown our moral compass to regularly shift when placed in different situations and around different people, sleep also seems to have an effect our decision making process.
A study in which participants were randomly assigned to have either just under 7 hours sleep, or around 4 and a half hours sleep, it was found those who were better rested were more able to identify whether hypothetical scenarios read to them were a moral issue or not.
“Consistent with our hypothesis, sleep deprived participants scored lower in moral awareness than the control group,” told assistant professor at the University of Washington, Christopher Barnes.
The second part of the study, which involved a new group of people, found further proof to these claims.
Here participants were observed over a four day process and told to monitor their own sleep – not refined to a controlled amount like before. After waking up, they were each once again presented with the same moral scenarios as the previous group.
As expected, those who recorded higher amounts of sleep scored higher in the tests for moral awareness.
“When a given individual was low in sleep, moral awareness suffered, and when that same individual had a full night of sleep, moral awareness was high,” said Barnes.
While stressful days at work can impact the amount of sleep we get, perhaps the best way to improve the work environment is to get all the sleep we can.