Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Sleep debts’ accrue when nightly sleep totals six hours or fewer

14.03.2003


Penn study find people respond poorly, while feeling only ’slightly’ tired

Sleep: Don’t be too sure you’re getting enough of it.

Those who believe they can function well on six or fewer hours of sleep every night may be accumulating a "sleep debt" that cuts into their normal cognitive abilities, according to research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. What’s more, the research indicates, those people may be too sleep-deprived to know it.



The study, published in the March 15 issue of the journal Sleep, found that chronically sleep-deprived individuals reported feeling "only slightly sleepy" even when their performance was at its worst during standard psychological testing. The results provide scientific insight into the daily challenges that confront military personnel, residents and on-call doctors and surgeons, shift workers, parents of young children, and others who routinely get fewer than six hours of sleep each night.

"Routine nightly sleep for fewer than six hours results in cognitive performance deficits, even if we feel we have adapted to it," said Hans P.A. Van Dongen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sleep and Chronobiology in Penn’s Department of Psychiatry and corresponding author of the study. "This work demonstrates the importance of sleep as a necessity for health and well-being. Even relatively moderate sleep restriction, if it is sustained night after night, can seriously impair our neurobiological functioning."

David F. Dinges, PhD, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, served as principal investigator for the study.

Dinges, Van Dongen and their colleagues looked at the effects of four hours nightly sleep and six more hours nightly sleep on healthy volunteer subjects aged 21 to 38, over a two-week period. They compared the results of the subjects’ accumulating performance deficits, determined by standard psychomotor vigilance and other cognitive tests, with similar test results obtained from subjects who had gone without sleep for more than three nights.

The first group of subjects experienced increasing lapses in psychomotor vigilance over days, resulting in a decline of performance that matched that of the subjects who went without sleep for 88 hours. At that level, the subjects suffered lapses in their ability to react that would put them at risk driving or flying an airplane. They were also less able to multi-task successfully.

"The physiologic expression of sleep in humans appears to have multiple functions, ranging from the metabolic to the neurocognitive," Van Dongen said.


###
Other scientists who worked on the study are Greg Maislin, MS, MA, also of Penn, and Janet M. Mullington, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health with additional financial assistance from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.




Ellen O’Brien | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.upenn.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>