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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Time-course of sleep inertia upon awakening from nighttime sleep with different sleep homeostasis conditions.

BACKGROUND: We assessed the time-course of sleep inertia during the first 75 min after morning awakening from regular nocturnal sleep, as well as from nighttime sleep episodes with altered sleep homeostasis conditions. METHODS: Ten normal males slept for 6 nights in the laboratory: 1 adaptation (AD), 2 baseline (BSL, BSL-A), 2 selective Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS) deprivation (DEP-1, DEP-2), and 1 recovery night (REC). On morning awakening, performance was assessed by means of: a) Descending Subtraction Task (DST); b) Auditory Reaction Time task (ART); and c) Finger Tapping Task (FTT). The test battery, lasting about 13 min, was repeated for 5 times. RESULTS: In regard to DST, the Correct Response ratio (CR/NR) showed a great increase of sleep inertia on the first testing session of REC. Regarding sleep inertia time-course, a significant linear decrease across the testing sessions during the BSL-A and the DEP-2 was present, whereas a significant quadratic trend during the AD, the DEP-1 and the REC was found. On the other hand, ART performance showed a significant quadratic trend across testing sessions, while FTT performance did not show any significant variation. CONCLUSIONS: A uniform pattern of variation of time-course of sleep inertia as a function of the different sleep homeostasis conditions was not recognized. Performance accuracy (CR/NR) on the DST showed the hypothesized increasing linear trend across testing sessions only during 2 out of 6 nights, while the unexpected quadratic trend of ART performance is probably due to a fatigue effect. During sleep inertia, cognitive performance reached the baseline level about 30 min after awakening, while motor performance was still below the baseline levels 75 min after awakening. The finding that cognitive performance recovery is greater and more rapid than motor performance recovery could be very important for operational settings and in sustained operations.[1]


  1. Time-course of sleep inertia upon awakening from nighttime sleep with different sleep homeostasis conditions. Ferrara, M., De Gennaro, L., Bertini, M. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine. (2000) [Pubmed]
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