Sleep loss gives rise to intrusive thoughts

Marcus O. Harrington, Scott A. Cairney

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


We propose a framework in which top-down inhibitory control networks are impaired by sleep deprivation, giving rise to intrusive thoughts and, consequently, emotion dysregulation. This process leads to a vicious cycle of sleeplessness, persistent unwanted thoughts, and heightened anxiety, ultimately increasing the risk of mental illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-436
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number6
Early online date13 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • anxiety disorder
  • emotion regulation
  • memory control
  • memory suppression
  • PTSD
  • sleep deprivation

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