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Sleep. 1999 May 1;22(3):336-43.

Effects of different sleep reductions on daytime sleepiness.

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Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Italy.


This study evaluated the effects of different amounts of sleep and SWS restriction on the ensuing day-time sleepiness. Six healthy selected males, after one adaptation night and an initial 8-hr baseline night, were allowed to sleep 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 hr with a 1-week interval between conditions. The following day, 4 sleep onset MSLT trials and 2 Wilkinson Auditory Vigilance Task (WAVT) were administered. Before each MSLT, self evaluations of sleepiness and activation on a visual analogue scale (ADAS) were assessed. Each restriction night was followed by an 8-hr recovery night, and a final 8-hr baseline night was recorded. The day after each night the same diurnal tests were repeated. Results indicated a linear increase in the propensity to sleep (MSLT) and of subjective sleepiness as a function of the increase in sleep restrictions. Performance scores (WAVT) showed that vigilance is partially affected by sleep restrictions. For each measure, regression analyses showed that the effect of sleep reduction is better predicted by the total duration of sleep than by the amount of SWS. Correlations between measures were negligible with the exception of those between performance and subjective sleepiness measures.

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