Lack Of Sleep Can Impact Your Sense Of Humor And Profanity Use

Researchers say our use of language helps offset the feeling of tiredness. Lack Of Sleep Can Impact Your Sense Of Humor And Profanity Use Giphy

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We all experience a rough night of sleep sometimes and know the impact it can have on various aspects of your day. But a new study revealed that missing out on good sleep can take its toll in some surprising ways.

Pardon my French

Whether you’ve got a potty mouth or not, the effects of poor sleep seems to make everyone more prone to dropping expletives.

By studying the habits of more than 300 test subjects, researchers figured out how often they used each of 20 common curse words in their daily language. While there are many different reasons people cite for using profane language, at least some of it depends on biology.

Oklahoma State University psychology professor Shelia M. Kennison analyzed the results, and determined: “The research suggests that people who curse a lot may have biological processes occurring that are contributing to it. They are not necessarily of poor or questionable character. It may be that they are tired.”

Of course, she noted that these results are only as good as the honesty of the subjects who reported their own cursing habits.

“In future research, I would like to explore the same variables using methods where I would be able to track curse word usage and fatigue throughout the day across many days,” she added.

Joking around

The specific way we use language, Kennison determined, appears to be a way our brains counteract the physiological effects of being tired … but it doesn’t only manifest in the use of a few extra four-letter words.

Poor sleep has also been linked to a change in a person’s style of humor. Along with cursing, humor can help deal with pain and stress — and those who are especially tired are more likely to exhibit a “self-defeating” sense of humor.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee February 29th, 2024
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