Insufficient sleep impairs driving performance and cognitive function.

Nagoya University, School of Health Sciences, 1-1-20 Daiko-minami Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 461-8673, Japan.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.06). 12/2009; 469(2):229-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.12.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cumulative sleep deprivation may increase the risk of psychiatric disorders, other disorders, and accidents. We examined the effect of insufficient sleep on cognitive function, driving performance, and cerebral blood flow in 19 healthy adults (mean age 29.2 years). All participants were in bed for 8h (sufficient sleep), and for <4h (insufficient sleep). The oxyhaemoglobin (oxyHb) level by a word fluency task was measured with a near-infrared spectroscopy recorder on the morning following sufficient and insufficient sleep periods. Wisconsin card sorting test, continuous performance test, N-back test, and driving performance were evaluated on the same days. The peak oxyHb level was significantly lower, in the left and right frontal lobes after insufficient sleep than after sufficient sleep (left: 0.25+/-0.13 vs. 0.74+/-0.33 mmol, P<0.001; right: 0.25+/-0.09 vs. 0.69+/-0.44 mmol, P<0.01). The percentage of correct responses on CPT after insufficient sleep was significantly lower than that after sufficient sleep (96.1+/-4.5 vs. 86.6+/-9.8%, P<0.05). The brake reaction time in a harsh-braking test was significantly longer after insufficient sleep than after sufficient sleep (546.2+/-23.0 vs. 478.0+/-51.2 ms, P<0.05). Whereas there were no significant correlations between decrease in oxyHb and the changes of cognitive function or driving performance between insufficient sleep and sufficient sleep. One night of insufficient sleep affects daytime cognitive function and driving performance and this was accompanied by the changes of cortical oxygenation response.

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