Using emotion regulation strategies after sleep deprivation: ERP and behavioral findings

Jinxiao ZHANG, Esther Yuet Ying LAU, Hui-wen Janet HSIAO

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep deprivation is suggested to impact emotion regulation, but few studies have directly examined it. This study investigated the influence of sleep deprivation on three commonly used emotion regulation strategies (distraction, reappraisal, suppression) in Gross's (1998) process model of emotion regulation. Young healthy adults were randomly assigned to a sleep deprivation group (SD; n = 26, 13 males, age = 20.0 ± 1.7) or a sleep control group (SC; n = 25, 13 males, age = 20.2 ± 1.7). Following 24-h sleep deprivation or normal nighttime sleep, participants completed an emotion regulation task, in which they naturally viewed or applied a given emotion regulation strategy towards negative pictures, with electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. A reduction in the centroparietal late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes towards negative pictures from the naturally viewing condition to a regulated condition was calculated as an index of regulatory effects. Comparisons between the two groups indicated that sleep deprivation significantly impaired the regulatory effects of distraction and reappraisal on LPP amplitudes. Suppression did not reduce LPP amplitudes in either group. In addition, habitual sleep quality moderated the effect of sleep deprivation on subjective perception of emotional stimuli, such that sleep deprivation only made good sleepers perceive negative pictures as more unpleasant and more arousing, but it had no significant effect on poor sleepers' perception of negative pictures. Altogether, this study provides the first evidence that sleep deprivation may impair the effectiveness of applying adaptive emotion regulation strategies (distraction and reappraisal), creating potentially undesirable consequences to emotional well-being. Copyright © 2018 Psychonomic Society, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-295
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number2
Early online dateNov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


Zhang, J., Lau, E. Y. Y., & Hsiao, J. H.-W. (2019). Using emotion regulation strategies after sleep deprivation: ERP and behavioral findings. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 19(2), 283-295. doi: 10.3758/s13415-018-00667-y


  • Sleep deprivation
  • Emotion regulation
  • Late positive potential
  • Reappraisal
  • Distraction
  • Suppression


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