Sleep deprivation’s big effect on placekeeping.

26 Nov Sleep deprivation’s big effect on placekeeping.

A lot of research has focused on the ill effects of not obtaining enough sleep the night before on someone’s daily functioning with the general consensus being poor sleep equalling a bad day. New research has focused on sleep deprivation and its effect on placekeeping, which is the ability to complete a series of steps without losing one’s place, regardless of any potential interruptions.

Originally published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the Michigan State University’s Sleep and Learn Lab has conducted a study which has focused specifically on the effects of sleep deprivation and one’s ability to placekeep properly. A total of 138 people were involved in the study where they took two separate cognitive tasks, both in the evening and the following morning following an overnight sleep assessment. These cognitive tasks looked at measuring the reaction time to a stimulus and the other looked at a person’s ability to maintain their step in a series of steps without omitting or repeating a step – with interruptions occurring. 77 participants remained awake the entire night whereas the other 61 went home to sleep.

Researchers found the results to the cognitive tasks did not differ much between night and morning for those who had a good night’s sleep whereas those who did not sleep through the night, their error rate doubled during the morning tasks (15% to 30%).

The study confirms the pre-existing thought that poor sleep negatively impacts one’s daily functions the following day but specifically for sleep deprivation and placekeeping abilities, it is heavily affected. Researchers give the example of a sleep deprived doctor being able to sufficiently perform routine tasks as checking vitals but their performance could be heavily hindered during a complex surgery that requires multiple, in-depth steps.