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Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002 Jan;46(1):6-24.

Sleep and performance--recent trends.

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Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road, Timarpur, Delhi-110 054.


Sleep and sleep deprivation are intimately related to performance. Sleep management of people working in different sectors of the society like multi shift workers, nurses, doctors, students in professional schools and the armed forces has a great bearing on performance, health and safety of the subject population. The detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on psychological performance are indicated as increased lapsing, cognitive slowing, memory impairment, decrease in vigilance and sustained attention and shift in optimum response capability. Its effects on physical performance are manifested as decline in ability to perform maximal exercise, self-selected walking pace and increase in perceived exertion. Sleep deprivation appears to have no effect in respect of muscle contractile properties and maximum anaerobic power. At high altitude (HA), there is a reduction in NREM sleep with frequent awakening due to hypoxia as a physiological adaptive measure to prevent accentuation of hypoxemia due to sleep-hypoventilation. Total sleep deprivation for 48 hours at high altitude can affect the acclimatization status, thermoregulation efficiency and cognitive functions. The concept of 'sleepiness' has also been studied, as it is an emerging concept for better understanding of the effects of sleep deprivation and its effects on performance. A special mention of sustained operations in the armed forces has been made keeping in mind its uniqueness in challenging the normal sleep-work schedule and its deployment in extreme environment and operational condition. This article reviews in detail the functions of sleep, its requirement and the effects of sleep deprivation on human performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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