A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Short-Term Sleep Deprivation on Cognitive Variables

Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.76). 05/2010; 136(3):375-89. DOI: 10.1037/a0018883
Source: PubMed


A substantial amount of research has been conducted in an effort to understand the impact of short-term (<48 hr) total sleep deprivation (SD) on outcomes in various cognitive domains. Despite this wealth of information, there has been disagreement on how these data should be interpreted, arising in part because the relative magnitude of effect sizes in these domains is not known. To address this question, we conducted a meta-analysis to discover the effects of short-term SD on both speed and accuracy measures in 6 cognitive categories: simple attention, complex attention, working memory, processing speed, short-term memory, and reasoning. Seventy articles containing 147 cognitive tests were found that met inclusion criteria for this study. Effect sizes ranged from small and nonsignificant (reasoning accuracy: g = -0.125, 95% CI [-0.27, 0.02]) to large (lapses in simple attention: g = -0.776, 95% CI [-0.96, -0.60], p < .001). Across cognitive domains, significant differences were observed for both speed and accuracy; however, there were no differences between speed and accuracy measures within each cognitive domain. Of several moderators tested, only time awake was a significant predictor of between-studies variability, and only for accuracy measures, suggesting that heterogeneity in test characteristics may account for a significant amount of the remaining between-studies variance. The theoretical implications of these findings for the study of SD and cognition are discussed.

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Available from: Julian Lim, Apr 22, 2014
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    • "Lack of sleep leads to decrements in creativity, innovative thinking, and moral awareness (Barnes, Gunia, & Wagner, 2015; Harrison & Horne, 1999; Wagner, Gais, Haider, Verleger, & Born, 2004). Even small amounts of lost sleep lead to slower reaction times (Lim & Dinges, 2010). Low sleep quantity and poor sleep quality also have important affective outcomes for employees. "
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    ABSTRACT: The strategic human capital literature indicates the importance of human capital to work unit performance. However, we argue that human capital only aids performance when it is translated into actions beneficial to the unit. We examine a set of common human capital leveraging characteristics (including the use of extended shifts, night shifts, shift flexibility, norms for work as a priority over sleep, and norms for constant connectivity) as factors that enhance the effect of human capital on human capital utilization. We also draw from the 2-process model of sleep regulation to examine how these characteristics undermine employee sleep, and thus weaken the link between human capital and work unit performance efficiency. Overall, we propose that human capital leveraging strategies initially enhance the effect of human capital on work unit performance, but over time weaken the effect of human capital on work unit performance efficiency. Thus, strategies intended to enhance the beneficial effect of human capital on work unit performance can end up doing the opposite. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Applied Psychology 07/2015; DOI:10.1037/apl0000042 · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    • "According to the latter theory, conflict adaptation is the readjustment of selective attention with more attention to relevant information after conflict detection. Sleep deprivation is known to exert a deleterious effect on various attentional parameters (see, for reviews, Lim and Dinges, 2010a; "
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep deprivation is known to exert detrimental effects on various cognitive domains, including attention, vigilance and working memory. Seemingly at odds with these findings, prior studies repeatedly failed to evidence an impact of prior sleep deprivation on cognitive interference in the Stroop test, a hallmark paradigm in the study of cognitive control abilities. The present study investigated further the effect of sleep deprivation on cognitive control using an adapted version of the Stroop test that allows to segregate top-down (attentional reconfiguration on incongruent items) and bottom-up (facilitated processing after repetitions in responses and/or features of stimuli) components of performance. Participants underwent a regular night of sleep or a night of total sleep deprivation before cognitive testing. Results disclosed that sleep deprivation selectively impairs top-down adaptation mechanisms: cognitive control no longer increased upon detection of response conflict at the preceding trial. In parallel, bottom-up abilities were found unaffected by sleep deprivation: beneficial effects of stimulus and response repetitions persisted. Changes in vigilance states due to sleep deprivation selectively impact on cognitive control in the Stroop test by affecting top-down, but not bottom-up, mechanisms that guide adaptive behaviours. © 2015 European Sleep Research Society.
    Journal of Sleep Research 07/2015; DOI:10.1111/jsr.12320 · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    • "Research indicates that loss of sleep adversely affects functioning in many ways. For example, sleep deprivation negatively impacts performance [30], health [7], daytime sleepiness [32], and subjective effort [11]. Recent research also suggests that partial sleep deprivation negatively affects performance and health [10] [46] and that daytime fatigue is related to sleep habits, sleepiness, and feelings of stress [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The current study examined the effects of partial and total sleep deprivation on emotional reactivity. Twenty-eight partially sleep-deprived participants and 31 totally sleep-deprived participants rated their valence and arousal responses to positive and negative pictures across four testing sessions during the day following partial sleep deprivation or during the night under total sleep deprivation. The results suggest that valence and arousal ratings decreased under both sleep deprivation conditions. In addition, partial and total sleep deprivation had a greater negative effect on positive events than negative events. These results suggest that sleep-deprived persons are more likely to respond less to positive events than negative events. One explanation for the current findings is that negative events could elicit more attentive behavior and thus stable responding under sleep deprivation conditions. As such, sleep deprivation could impact reactivity to emotional stimuli through automated attentional and self-regulatory processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of psychosomatic research 05/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.05.003 · 2.74 Impact Factor
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