Don’t Gamble When Sleepy

Forget the booze, it is simply the lack of sleep that causes gamblers to risk more. In a recent Duke University study, researchers tested 29 young adults who had just pulled an all-nighter to find out how sleep deprivation affects decision-making, specifically choices linked to economic gambles. The experts learned that when people are sleep deprived, they are more likely to place riskier bets.

As the Duke Chronicle reported, “Researchers found that when sleep deprived, the subjects displayed increased activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that focuses on positive outcomes when making decisions. These subjects also displayed decreased activity in the anterior insula, which focuses on negative outcomes, so that whereas well-rested people generally look to minimize losses, sleep-deprived individuals may instead seek to maximize gain.”

When you are sleep deprived, your brain increases its positive reactors and reduces the negative signals, tricking you into being more optimistic about making a risky choice. Being sleep deprived is like having that little devil sitting on your shoulder at the Vegas roulette table telling you to put it all on red no matter the cost.

Casinos are cashing in on our all-nighters, too. If you”ve ever been to a casino, you may have noticed there are no clocks on the wall. Likewise, dealers are not allowed to wear watches. Lacking windows and natural light,  to distort your sense of time

They hope (figure) that after exhaustion and intoxication, the resulting drowsiness will cause you to bet higher. The more money you bet, the more money the casino stands to make considering .

Sure, being sleep deprived makes you more optimistic in the moment, but it can lead to some really awful outcomes, which you don’t even realize because your brain is affecting your judgment.

Whether or not you are a gambler, keep this advice in mind: When it comes to financial decisions, sleep on it. Rest before you take a monetary risk. And when you haven”t had enough sleep, keep your money in your pockets.


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