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Description: If you pulled a couple of almost all-nighters completing a term paper and then stayed up and got up early preparing for and then writing several final exams how many good nights’ sleeps would you need to have before you would be comfortable taking on the 10-hour drive home for holidays? If you said one or two, you might want to think again. Think a bit about how you would know and about what you might not be as good at after sleep deprivation than before and then read the article linked below that describes a study looking directly at these questions.

Source: Deficits may remain after 7-day recovery from 10 days in insufficient sleep, ScienceDaily.

Date: September 1, 2021

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, the research DID suggest that reaction time did fully recover after 7 days rest following sleep deprivation (yes, 7 days) but other functions did not. Perhaps reaction time would be enough of your driving ability that you would not need to be concerned, though who would wait for 7 days before driving home for holidays? More importantly in many work settings and other areas of life people do not get 2 to 3 weeks of end of term holiday downtime after completing a sleep depriving work push, their lives just go on. Perhaps some re-thinking is needed.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What signs do you know of or look for that you are not optimally functioning following sleep deprivation?
  2. How long do YOU think it takes you to recover from sleep deprivation?
  3. What might be some of your recommendation for occupational health and safety officers to consider when employees in their companies become sleep deprived?

References (Read Further):

Ochab, J. K., Szwed, J., Oleś, K., Bereś, A., Chialvo, D. R., Domagalik, A., … & Nowak, M. A. (2021). Observing changes in human functioning during induced sleep deficiency and recovery periods. PLoS one, 16(9), e0255771. Link

Jung, C. M., Melanson, E. L., Frydendall, E. J., Perreault, L., Eckel, R. H., & Wright, K. P. (2011). Energy expenditure during sleep, sleep deprivation and sleep following sleep deprivation in adult humans. The Journal of physiology, 589(1), 235-244. Link

Patrick, Y., Lee, A., Raha, O., Pillai, K., Gupta, S., Sethi, S., … & Moss, J. (2017). Effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive and physical performance in university students. Sleep and biological rhythms, 15(3), 217-225. Link

Ikegami, K., Ogyu, S., Arakomo, Y., Suzuki, K., Mafune, K., Hiro, H., & Nagata, S. (2009). Recovery of cognitive performance and fatigue after one night of sleep deprivation. Journal of occupational health, 0907140090-0907140090. Link

Orzeł-Gryglewska, J. (2010). Consequences of sleep deprivation. International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health. Link