Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
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Effect of sleep disruption on sleep, performance, and mood.

Sleep 1985
Eleven young adult subjects were briefly awakened after each minute of electroencephalographic-defined sleep for 2 consecutive nights after undisturbed laboratory adaptation and baseline nights. Two undisturbed recovery nights followed disruption nights. On disruption nights, subjects were awakened with an audiometer and signaled the awakening by subjective rating of sleep state or button push response. The disruption procedure resulted in severely fragmented sleep with only very small amounts of slow-wave and REM sleep. Total sleep time was reduced by approximately 1 h on each night. Arousal threshold increased 56 dB across the disruption nights. Following disruption, subjects performed more poorly and rated themselves sleepier than on baseline. The level of decline was similar to that seen after periods of total sleep loss of 40-64 h. Recovery sleep was also similar to that seen after total sleep loss. It was concluded that periodic disruption of sleep, perhaps by destroying sleep continuity, quickly results in impaired function. These data may help explain function loss in severe sleep apneics.

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