Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long Working Days With Too Few Hours’ Sleep Slow Responses As Much As Alcohol

Date:
September 19, 2000
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
After 17 to 19 hours of staying awake -- a normal working day for many people -- reaction times are up to 50 percent slower than they are after drinking alcohol, shows research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

After 17 to 19 hours of staying awake -- a normal working day for many people -- reaction times are up to 50 percent slower than they are after drinking alcohol, shows research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The research focused on legally accepted limits for alcohol in Scandinavia, of 50 mg/dl; in the UK this is almost twice as high at 80 mg/dl.

Mental and physical reaction times, accuracy, coordination and attention span were tested using a range of manual and cognitive tasks in 39 people in their 30s and 40s. The tests were carried out over a period of 28 hours during which the volunteers were given alcohol up to a maximum of 100 mg/dl. And after a night’s sleep, the tests were repeated over the same time frame without alcohol. All those assessed worked in transport.

The results showed that after staying awake for 17 to 19 hours -- a normal working day for many people -- performance of some tasks was the same or worse than after 50mg/dl of alcohol. Reaction times were up to 50 per cent slower, and accuracy was significantly poorer. The longer the volunteers stayed awake, the worse they performed, reaching levels normally expected from alcohol intake above the legally accepted limit in Scandinavia and the UK.

The authors note that lowest performance levels did not parallel the sleep-wake cycle that occurs as a result of the body’s natural biorhythms (circadian rhythms). And they suggest that this is because it is sleep deprivation rather than dips in the natural cycles that most strongly impair performance, but that the effects are likely to be exaggerated by these rhythms.

The effects of fatigue are thought to play a part in almost two-thirds of the road accidents in the United States, say the authors. Extended working hours, shift work, and lifestyle choices are likely to decrease the amounts of sleep we have, they conclude. The effects, which are likely to be cumulative, pose a serious risk to safety, they say.

[Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2000; 57: 649-55


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Long Working Days With Too Few Hours’ Sleep Slow Responses As Much As Alcohol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000919080457.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2000, September 19). Long Working Days With Too Few Hours’ Sleep Slow Responses As Much As Alcohol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000919080457.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Long Working Days With Too Few Hours’ Sleep Slow Responses As Much As Alcohol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000919080457.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. 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