25 Jan The Effect of Sleep Restriction on Cognitive Performance
Smithies et al. recently published a systematic review on the effects of sleep restriction on cognitive performance. They did look at the impact on three categories of tasks, the simple tasks with little/no distractions (low-salience, eg guard duty), more complex tasks but not requiring task-switching/multi-tasking or complex reasoning (high-salience stable, eg routine surgery or skilled sport performance) and more complex tasks that require regular multi-tasking and regular task switching (eg air traffic control, emergency responders).
They concluded that performance is most negatively affected on simple, monotonous occupation-specific tasks, where simple attentional capabilities are instrumental to task success. However they did note that performance may also be quite impaired when task shifting / multi-tasking is required with complex tasks.
Tim D Smithies, Adam J Toth, Ian C Dunican, John A Caldwell, Magdalena Kowal, Mark J Campbell, The Effect of Sleep Restriction on Cognitive Performance in Elite Cognitive Performers: A Systematic Review, Sleep, 2021;, zsab008, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsab008