Workers sacrificing sleep for long hours: Study
Friday 20 October, 2017
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Workers sacrificing sleep for long hours: Study

Published On: Fri, Dec 12th, 2014 | Sleep | By BioNews

A study has suggested that people are exchanging paid work with their sleeping time and a chronic sleep loss can be prevented with flexible working hours.

The study’s results were collected from responses given by 1,24,517 Americans who completed the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) over eight years. Participants’ responses captured 99.1 percent of the past 24 hours.

“The evidence that time spent working was the most prominent sleep thief was overwhelming,” said Mathias Basner, lead author from the University of Pennsylvania, the US.

Compared to the normal sleepers, short sleepers, who reported sleeping six hours or less worked 1.5 hours more on weekdays and 1.86 hours more on weekends or holidays.

Adults working in multiple jobs, are 61 percent more likely to report sleeping six hours or less on weekdays.

It was observed that short sleepers also travelled more, they started travelling early morning, and stopped later in the evening than normal sleepers.

“Getting at least seven hours of nightly sleep is essential to be at your mental, emotional and physical best for whatever you will pour yourself into, either at work or at home,” said Timothy Morgenthaler, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Also, planning work or training just an hour later in the day, increased sleep time by 20 minutes.

The results were published in the journal Sleep.


Ma N, Dinges DF, Basner M, Rao H. How Acute Total Sleep Loss Affects the Attending Brain: A Meta-analysis of Neuroimaging Studies. Sleep. 2014 Nov 20. pii: sp-00284-14. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25409102.

Scientific Summary:

Attention is a cognitive domain that can be severely affected by sleep deprivation. Previous neuroimaging studies have used different attention paradigms and reported both increased and reduced brain activation after sleep deprivation. However, due to large variability in sleep deprivation protocols, task paradigms, experimental designs, characteristics of subject populations, and imaging techniques, there is no consensus regarding the effects of sleep loss on the attending brain. The aim of this meta-analysis was to identify brain activations that are commonly altered by acute total sleep deprivation across different attention tasks.
Coordinate-based meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies of performance on attention tasks during experimental sleep deprivation.
the current version of the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) approach was used for meta-analysis. The authors searched published articles and identified 11 sleep deprivation neuroimaging studies using different attention tasks with a total of 185 participants, equaling 81 foci for ALE analysis.
the meta-analysis revealed significantly reduced brain activation in multiple regions following sleep deprivation compared to rested wakefulness, including bilateral intraparietal sulcus, bilateral insula, right prefrontal cortex, medial frontal cortex, and right parahippocampal gyrus. Increased activation was found only in bilateral thalamus after sleep deprivation compared to rested wakefulness.
Acute total sleep deprivation decreases brain activation in the fronto-parietal attention network (prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus) and in the salience network (insula and medial frontal cortex). Increased thalamic activation after sleep deprivation may reflect a complex interaction between the de-arousing effects of sleep loss and the arousing effects of task performance on thalamic activity.

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