Tuesday December 10, 2019

Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Performance: Study

Researchers have found that sleep deprivation can have an impact on your performance

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Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep can have an impact on your daily performance. Pixabay

Sleep deprivation affects us much more than prior theories have suggested, say researchers, adding that it impacts placekeeping – or, the ability to complete a series of steps without losing one’s place, despite potential interruptions.

“Our research showed that sleep deprivation doubles the odds of making placekeeping errors and triples the number of lapses in attention, which is startling,” said study researcher Kimberly Fenn from Michigan State University in the US.

“Sleep-deprived individuals need to exercise caution in absolutely everything that they do, and simply can’t trust that they won’t make costly errors. Oftentimes – like when behind the wheel of a car – these errors can have tragic consequences,” Fenn added.

For the study Published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, the researchers recruited 138 people to participate in the overnight sleep assessment; 77 stayed awake all night and 61 went home to sleep.

All participants took two separate cognitive tasks in the evening: one that measured reaction time to a stimulus; the other measured a participant’s ability to maintain their place in a series of steps without omitting or repeating a step – even after sporadic interruptions.

Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprived individuals need to exercise caution in absolutely everything that they do. Pixabay

The participants then repeated both tasks in the morning to see how sleep-deprivation affected their performance.

After being interrupted there was a 15 per cent error rate in the evening and we saw that the error rate spiked to about 30 per cent for the sleep-deprived group the following morning. The rested participants’ morning scores were similar to the night before.

“There are some tasks people can do on auto-pilot that may not be affected by a lack of sleep,” Fenn said.

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However, sleep deprivation causes widespread deficits across all facets of life.

“Our findings debunk a common theory that suggests that attention is the only cognitive function affected by sleep deprivation,” said study researcher Michelle Stepan.

“Some sleep-deprived people might be able to hold it together under routine tasks, like a doctor taking a patient’s vitals,” Stepan said. (IANS)

Next Story

This Healthy Mediterranean Diet Includes Meat to Cater to Western Tastes

New Mediterranean diet lets you eat meat without any guilt

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Meat Diet
Eat meat without any guilt by following this new mediterranean diet. Lifetime Stock

Researchers have developed a new version of Mediterranean diet that includes meat to cater to Western tastes and also deliver health benefits.

A typical Mediterranean diet includes extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, moderate amount of fish and red wine, and low consumption of red meat, sweet and processed foods.

The new version of the Mediterranean diet includes 2-3 serves (250g) of fresh lean pork each week.

The findings published in the journal Nutrients showed that the Mediterranean-Pork (Med-Pork) diet delivers cognitive benefits.

meat
The new version of the Mediterranean diet includes 2-3 serves (250g) of meat each week. Lifetime Stock

“The Mediterranean diet is widely accepted as the healthiest diet and is renowned for delivering improved cardiovascular and cognitive health, but in Western cultures, the red meat restrictions of the diet could make it hard for people to stick to,” said Alexandra Wade from University of South Australia.

“By adding pork to the Mediterranean diet, we’re broadening the appeal of the diet, while also delivering improved cognitive function,” Wade said.

This study compared the cognitive effects of people aged 45-80 years and at risk of cardiovascular disease following a Med-Pork or a low-fat diet (often prescribed to negate risk factors for cardiovascular disease).

The results showed the Med-Pork intervention outperformed the low-fat diet, delivering higher cognitive processing speeds and emotional functioning, both markers of good mental health.

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“Improving people’s processing speed shows the brain is working well,” Wade said.

“Then, when you add the fact that pork production emits only a fraction of the greenhouse gases compared with beef, and the Med-Pork diet is really ticking all boxes — taste, health and environment,” Wade said. (IANS)