The Interrelations Between Sleep, Anger, and Loss of Aggression Control

Jeanine Kamphuis*, Marike Lancel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep has complex interrelations with anger, hostility, and aggression control. Sleep disturbance may be a risk factor for agitation, irritability, short-temperedness, anger, and diminished frustration tolerability. Aggressive interactions may also affect sleep quality during the night. Individuals with hostile and aggressive traits seem to suffer from sleep problems more often than less hostile and aggressive persons do. Sleep loss likely reduces prefrontal control over emotional responses, especially in reaction to negative emotional circumstances or frustrating situations. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the serotonin system may be involved as well. Individuals who usually have poor impulse inhibition may be particularly susceptible to the potentially detrimental influence of poor sleep on frustration tolerance and aggression control. Interindividual variation in the underlying neurobiological mechanisms is probably responsible for this individual vulnerability. Treatment of sleep problems may improve aggression control, emphasizing the importance of proper sleep for daytime social functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSleep and Affect
Subtitle of host publicationAssessment, Theory, and Clinical Implications
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780124172005
ISBN (Print)9780124171886
Publication statusPublished - 20-Jan-2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggressive behavior
  • Anger
  • Hostility
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sleep problems

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