Relation Between Sleep and Performance

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...

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Lack of sleep may lead to poor performance, is a conclusion that often is assumed and also research shows this. The researchers of the medical faculty of Harvard think that unless sleep deprivation doesn’t make the headlines, it contributed to the 1979 nuclear accident in Three Mile Island and the 1986 meltdown of Chernobyl, the grounding of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker and more of those disasters. Also medical errors of doctors are often caused by lack of sleep, not to speak of traffic accidents: 60% of adult drivers have driven a car when they felt drousy and more than 1/3 admitted to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

An EEG will show changes in brain activity after 16 hours being awake. Also concentration, working memory, mathematical capacity and logic reasoning are then affected. The first signals of sleep deprivation are shown when difficult thoughts have to be made or when reasoning is required. And that leads to a weaker performance.

The Harvard also provides tips to improve sleep: avoid caffeine, alcohol or nicotine; make your bedroom quiet, dark and cool; establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine; sleep when you’re tired; don’t stare at the clock; use the natural clock and the light; sleep at regular times; don’t nap; use a light evening meal; balance fluid intake; exercise earlyer in the day and be consequent on these tips.

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