Sleep deficiency impacts different individuals in different ways. Some are intensely impacted and we find that measures of performance seem to be significantly lower while some sleep-deprived people show no outward effects of sleep deficiency. You simply cannot examine precisely how much an individual has slept of late and you cannot essentially forecast how the individual would be suffering. The fundamental brain physiology revealing this difference still has not been exposed or discovered.
As per https://www.inc.com, if you have slept for less than seven hours then you seem to be among the numerous Americans who are known to be sleep-deprived. As per the CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one-third of the workers in the United States can get just under six hours of sound sleep every day while doctors recommend at least, eight hours of undisturbed and uninterrupted sleep.
Sleepiness just like sleep debt would be culminating in lower performance in the reaction tests. We understand that sleepy individuals simply cannot be as mentally fast and vigilant. This would be attributed chiefly to decline in the overall brain activity occurring in your prefrontal cortex – the region of the brain that boasts of higher-order functions. Lower activity either by glucose consumption, electrical measures, or blood flow in your prefrontal cortex would prove to be an apt biomarker for sleepiness. However, it would not act as a biomarker for a dip in performance or aptitude. Can we measure sleepiness and sleep deficiency? This is one of the most frequently asked questions.
Understanding the Importance of Brain Activity
Reaction time seems to be one way of measuring sleepiness. However, it is not an effective way. It could be affected by several things, for instance, mild brain injury, medication, etc. Hence it would be lacking in accuracy and “specificity” in the idiom of experimental design. Diagnosis of sleep issues and some other mental issues often necessitates tests. We know that some individuals are impacted more by sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency as compared to others. This fact is revealed as per measurements by certain tests of vigilance or physical and mental performance.
Recognizing Sleepy People
Things could have been great if we could identify markers of sleepiness and even vulnerability to decline in performance because of extended waking. We understand that the military would be immensely benefitted to identify the soldiers who could perform even in extreme conditions. Even operators of trucking lines and airlines would be too happy to identify people who could perform despite sleep deprivation. Chemical biomarkers meant for sleepiness are just not available. You could consider administering tests for determining readiness or vigilance. However, there is no specific way of saying how a person would be performing in a state of sleep deficiency in the future. Currently, different variations associated with the reaction tests are supposed to be the best we are having and maybe the application of meticulous statistical analysis to a host of diverse reaction time tests could be coming up with something fruitful.
What Could Behavioral Tests Say To Us?
Researchers have been attempting to discover if this degradation vulnerability could be correlating to some other factors. Do people with quick reactions specifically in psychomotor vigilance tests seem to be doing worse or better as compared to others who seem to be sleep deprived? Research reveals that there seems to be no visible correlation to any of the factors. PET brain scans could demonstrate relative blood flow amounts or even the glucose metabolism rate. We know that once that rate goes down in your prefrontal cortex, or when an individual has sleep inertia when he first gets up, measures of vigilance are effectively diminished.
Some sleep researchers have claimed to have identified 25 biomarkers associated with the eyelids and eyes. However, researchers were trying to find out if a close inspection of all these physiological biomarkers could help in the prediction of impairment. Indeed, these tests would not give an indication of how long the ‘research subject’ has been wide awake but they could be making way for better tests.