Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UPMC Study Shows Lack Of Sleep Causes Differences In Thinking Patterns In Brain

Date:
September 17, 1997
Source:
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Summary:
"Burning the midnight oil" may do more harm than good for people who believe they work best at night.

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 15 -- "Burning the midnight oil" may do more harm than good for people who believe they work best at night. In a study at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's (UPMC) Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, researchers have found that the body's need for sleep, influenced by its circadian rhythms, may slow down thinking processes at night. Also, researchers at the UPMC said, losing sleep at night can slow down your thinking skills the next day.

From a practical point of view, results suggest that in addition to safety concerns resulting from night workers' and night drivers' tendency to fall asleep, it should be recognized that even if they are wide awake, they may be thinking more slowly.

The UPMC study, published by Timothy H. Monk, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, and Julie Carrier, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow, in the current issue of the academic journal Sleep, suggests that circadian rhythms, the body's internal clock, can affect the speed at which the brain processes information. According to Dr. Monk, the study's principal investigator, night-time thinking may slow down because people need to fight their urges to sleep.

Eighteen healthy young adults participated in the 36-hour study that involved constant wakeful bedrest, or being kept awake while in bed, for the duration of the study. Participants also had no knowledge of clock time, and meals were replaced by hourly nutritional supplements. This was done to avoid feelings of sleepiness that accompany big meals. A series of performance tests involving figuring out whether sentences were true or false were given every other hour, and the speed and accuracy of the responses were recorded.

Using questions phrased in both the positive and negative voice, the researchers found that negative-voiced sentences took longer for participants to respond to than positive-voiced ones due to an increase in information-processing requirements. By plotting the speed with which this extra processing was done at each time of day and night, Drs. Monk and Carrier were able to factor out overall effects of sluggishness and inattention and get directly at the speed of thought itself. The study concluded that people think more slowly at night, perhaps because they approach a task differently at night than during the day. It also showed a slowing in the speed of information processing during the day after the lost night of sleep.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "UPMC Study Shows Lack Of Sleep Causes Differences In Thinking Patterns In Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970917075612.htm>.
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (1997, September 17). UPMC Study Shows Lack Of Sleep Causes Differences In Thinking Patterns In Brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970917075612.htm
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "UPMC Study Shows Lack Of Sleep Causes Differences In Thinking Patterns In Brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970917075612.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins