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Keywords:

  • Stage 4 deprivation;
  • Stage REM deprivation;
  • Sleep loss impairment for performance;
  • memory;
  • and mood;
  • (A. Lubin)

ABSTRACT

Twelve young (17–21 yrs) male Navy recruits volunteered for a sleep loss study. After 4 baseline days, the Ss were completely deprived of sleep for 2 days and nights. Next followed an experimental phase of 2 days and nights after which all Ss received 2 nights of uninterrupted sleep.

During the experimental phase, the 4 Ss in the REM-deprived group were aroused whenever they showed signs of REM sleep. The 4 Ss of the stage 4-deprived group were aroused whenever they showed signs of entering stage 4 sleep, and the 4 Ss of the Control group had uninterrupted sleep.

All tests (speed and accuracy of addition, speed and accuracy of self-paced vigilance, errors of omission in experimenter paced vigilance, immediate recall of word lists, and mood) showed significant impairment after the first night of complete sleep loss. But during the experimental (sleep-stage-deprivation) and recovery phases, all three groups showed equal rates of recovery.

Depriving the S of stage REM or stage 4 during recovery sleep does not affect the recuperation rate. Frequent arousals (50–100 per night) also do not impair recovery. The amount of sleep is probably more important than the kind of sleep.