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J Med Educ. 1985 Jul;60(7):530-5.

Sleep and nutritional deprivation and performance of house officers.


A study was conducted by the authors to compare cognitive functioning in acutely and chronically sleep-deprived house officers. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant deficits in primary mental tasks involving basic rote memory, language, and numeric skills as well as in tasks requiring high-order cognitive functioning and traditional intellective abilities. These deficits existed only for the acutely sleep-deprived group. The finding of deficits in individuals who reported five hours or less of sleep in a 24-hour period suggests that the minimum standard of four hours that has been considered by some to be adequate for satisfactory performance may be insufficient for more complex cognitive functioning.

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