Effects of sleep deprivation on implicit emotion regulation among healthy adults

Sze Ning LEE

Research output: ThesisBachelor's Theses


Objectives: Sleep and emotion regulation both have a great impact on mental well-being. A few previous studies examined sleep and emotion but they mainly focused on explicit emotion regulation. Given the importance of implicit emotion regulation in daily life, the current study aimed at investigating the role of sleep in implicit emotion regulation among healthy young adults.
Methods: This within-subject randomized experimental sleep deprivation study consisted of 24 healthy young adults (45.8% Female, mean age= 22.75). They completed two test sessions with electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings after a 24-hours total sleep deprivation (SD) and a sleep control (SC) condition. Two computerized tasks: emotional conflict task and self-talk task, were used to assess participants’ implicit emotion regulation ability and to compare the effect of sleep loss on different strategies.
Results: A 2 (condition: SC/ SD) x 2 (changes in reaction time: congruent/ emotional conflict) repeated-measures ANOVA revealed that a significant interaction effect between condition and adaptation (F(1,23)=8.87, p=.007). Post-hoc test revealed that emotional conflict adaptation was significantly weaker after SD. The differences in the self-talk task and event-related potential (N2) were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Sleep loss impairs an implicit regulatory process: emotional conflict adaptation among healthy young adults. The impairment induced by a 24-hour sleep deprivation varies across different emotion regulation strategies, suggesting the effect of sleep loss may be specific to certain cognitive emotive processes subsumed by different brain networks. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • LAU, Esther Yuet Ying 劉月瑩, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Sleep
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional conflict adaptation
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (BSocSc(Psy))--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2019.


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