National Sleep Disorders Research Plan
arrow image Progress Since the 1996 National Sleep Disorders Research Plan


Progress Index:
Sleep Education
Sleep Neurobiology

Circadian Biology
Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB)

Progress since 1996
Research Recommendations
Research Training

Sleep Deprivation:

Although previous studies have demonstrated many of the ill effects of total sleep deprivation, the impact of chronic partial sleep deprivation (restriction) had not been extensively investigated even though it is a much more common phenomenon. However, recent studies indicate that 4 to 6 hours of sleep per night yields a progressive, cumulative deterioration in neurobehavioral function including vigilance, neurocognitive performance, and mood. This reduction in performance is also associated with changes in cerebral activation during cognitive tasks. Physiologic changes (insulin resistance and increased sympathetic activation) appear to occur as well. Both the neurocognitive and physiologic effects of chronic sleep loss suggest there is optimal sleep duration and that there is a cost for failing to achieve it. However, the exact duration of sleep required at different periods of life remains poorly understood, as do the mechanisms driving these neural and metabolic processes.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Department of Health and Human Services (click here) First Gov Website (Click here)
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Click Here) National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (Click Here)