Sleep deprivation - Scholarpedia
Sleep deprivation
From Scholarpedia
Julian Lim and David F. Dinges (2007), Scholarpedia, 2(8):2433. revision #41724 [link to/cite this article]

Curator: Dr. Julian Lim, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Curator: Dr. David F. Dinges, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Sleep deprivation is the restriction of sleep below the level of basal sleep need; this can be both acute (a single period of extended wakefulness), or chronic (the accumulation of sleep debt over multiple nights of sleep restriction). The basal sleep need of an organism is its habitual sleep duration in the absence of pre-existing sleep debt, with sleep debt defined as the duration of sleep below which waking deficits can be observed. In human beings, these deficits can be seen across a spectrum of neurocognitive domains from basic attentional processes to high-level executive function.

Under unrestricted sleep conditions, endogenous circadian and homeostatic processes interact to promote periods of stable sleep and wakefulness, with relatively abrupt transitions from one state to the other. Sleep deprivation leads to a breakdown in this stability, beginning with transient and involuntary intrusions of sleep into periods of wakefulness. These intrusions can be observed through a number of neurobehavioral phenomena, including microsleeps, sleep attacks, slow eyelid closures, voluntary naps, and slow rolling eye movements.

Apart from these directly-observable phenomena, the effects of sleep deprivation on human beings fall into two main categories: objective (which can be physiological or cognitive), and subjective.

* 1 Objective effects
o 1.1 Physiological
o 1.2 Cognitive
* 2 Subjective effects
* 3 Mathematical modeling
* 4 Lapse and wake-state instability hypotheses
* 5 Biological basis
* 6 Individual differences in response
* 7 Causes and costs
* 8 References
* 9 External links
* 10 See Also
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