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When Sleep Isn't Perfect: Risk and Resilience for Cognitive Consequences of Imperfect Sleep Duration and Suboptimal Timing of Tasks in Circadian Rhythm

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Technical Report,01 Jul 2016,31 Dec 2019

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Northern California Institute for Research and Education San Francisco United States

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This DOD-funded project has produced compelling and important findings with respect to sleep and cognitive performance. We have published two peer-reviewed manuscripts and presented our findings at the World Sleep 2019 annual meeting. As per our published results, we believe our most interesting findings pertain to the effects of sleep duration, and deviation from typical sleep duration, on cognitive performance across the lifespan. Our findings demonstrate the utility of large-scale data to reveal relationships between sleep duration and cognitive performance with a resolution that laboratory samples and more typically powered epidemiological studies cannot provide. We did not observe the hypothesized effects of chronotype, or chronotype synchrony, with cognitive performance. We did however observe interesting findings with respect to time of day, showing that task complexity may also impact the effects of time of day on task performance. Contrary to expectations, our initial analyses did not show marked effects of sleep duration on learning or change in performance over time. We are not sufficiently confident in these negative results to disseminate these at this juncture. We continue to collaborate with our industry partner Lumos labs, with whom we are working to implement a revised chronotype measure, and to pursue research opportunities to build on positive findings and to better understand negative findings.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology

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