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New Study Finds Sleep Deprivation Affects Gambling Decisions

The results of an interesting survey were published today, where it was found that sleep deprivation makes us more reckless when it comes to making gambling decisions. It was found that people who have not slept enough are more likely to take bigger gambling risks and therefore risk losing more money.

Subjects of the gambling study which took place in the United States and Singapore  had to stay up all night before they were required to undertake a number of gambling activities. A brain scanner was used to follow activities in the area of their brains where decisions regarding positive and negative incomes are usually made. As the subjects became more sleep deprived, they became less sensitive to negative outcomes, and they tended to take more risks.

According to Professor Scott Huettel, this is the first time that studies have successfully shown that sleep deprivation affects a change in the way we view things. “One night’s sleep deprivation is enough to change people’s preferences when it comes to gambling on a likely outcome,” he said.

It’s pretty obvious that a person who lacks enough sleep reacts differently to a person who has had a sound night’s sleep, but this was the first time that they’ve been able to prove these assumptions scientifically.

If you walk into a Vegas style casino, you may note that there are no clocks on the wall, and that there are no windows. This is so that players won’t have an idea of how early or late it is in a bid to keep them playing on the casino floor. Couple that with free drinks typically offered to guests as comps (to make them lose their  inhibitions and perhaps make them drowsier) and you have players who really do have their gambling decisions affected.

The rule, of course, is to be aware of these ‘tricks’ and limit yourself to the hours you spend gambling and avoid the alcohol when playing with real money. This is also another argument in favor of online gambling, as it’s done in the comfort of your own home (where I presume you have windows and clocks) and where you are the one who decides the hours.

Posted in Casino, Gambling.

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