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What Greece and Iran have in common: Negotiating with very little sleep




German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel chat during a session at the Bundestag lower house of parliament on the Greek crisis on July 1, 2015 in Berlin.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel chat during a session at the Bundestag lower house of parliament on the Greek crisis on July 1, 2015 in Berlin.
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

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Some people tolerate sleep deprivation better than others. But is it responsible to negotiate deals that will affect millions of people with little to no sleep?

Monday after all-night talks between Greek and European political leaders the decision was made that Greece will remain in Eurozone.  Studies show that sleep deprivation can impair a person’s decision making, it causes memory loss, and is associated with impulsivity and a lack of empathy and to make matters worse this kind of foggy decision making is not uncommon when it comes to politics.

All-night talks occurred during the banking crisis in 2008 and most recently during the Iran nuclear talks. Should political leaders be able to make such important decisions under these kinds of circumstances? Is this a deliberate tactic in reaching agreements?

Guest:

Russell Foster, Professor of Circadian Neuroscience and the Head of Department of Ophthalmology at the Brasenose College at the University of Oxford