If you did fine without it, they wouldn’t call it “Deprivation”
We live in a 24/7/365 go-go-go culture. And, admittedly, there’s a lot to look at. But taken to the extreme, the whack-a-mole nature of demands on our attention leads to cutting back on one all-too-compressible block on our schedule: the amount of sleep we get daily.
Sleep Deprivation is a major, global, and growing problem. You’ve seen the articles about going without sleep “being like you’re drunk” and weakening cognitive performance in a way that is difficult to recover from.
But — as Professor Paul Whitney explains:
“Sleep deprivation is not a blunt instrument.”
Not all areas of the brain are equally affected, nor all our abilities when we’re sleepy. (In some cases, there may even be upsides. See Episode #91.)
Dr. Whitney, from Washington State University, studies the fine-grained details about a lack of sleep’s effects on vigilance, psychomotor performance, situational awareness, mood, and a variety of other factor which don’t always move in lockstep.
- What should you absolutely avoid doing while over-tired?
- What can you possibly get away with?
- How do naps stack up against night-time sleep?
- What does sleepiness do to our emotions?
- And on the grand scale of Big Problems, just how big a problem is having a sleepy public?
I’m tempted to say “this interview is worth staying up for”… but I won’t. Instead, give a listen once you’re wide awake and can be ready to deal with any surprising detours. 😉
Not science, but fun
In the Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick, I mentioned this creepy Halloween-esque story that cropped up in our sleep deprivation research. Good for watching alone late at night in a graveyard, if you’re into that sort of thing. The Russian Sleep Experiment
Episode introduction: Sleep Deprivation with Dr. Paul Whitney.
This Week In Neuroscience: Incidence of dementia in urban versus rural areas.
5-Star review shoutouts.
SDS news and updates.
Guest introduction: Dr. Paul Whitney.
How the brain behaves when you are asleep.
Sleep deprivation and sustained attention.
The more subtle effects of sleep deprivation.
Differences between acute sleep deprivation versus on-going sleep deprivation.
Growing public awareness about the importance of sleep and factors that work against people acting on this increased awareness.
Naps and sleep hygiene.
Individual differences in the effects of fatigue and sleep loss.
Sleep deprivation and mood.
The Task Impurity Problem.
Genetic variations in resilience and vulnerability to sleep deprivation on particular tasks.
Frontal striatal pathway and cognitive control.
The three possible variations of DRD2.
The Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) and sleep deprivation.
Baseline metabolic measures and other indicators of getting sleepy.
Local Use Theory and the selectivity of sleep deprivation effects.
Dr. Whitney's final comments and advice on sleep deprivation.
Morning people and evening people.
Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick: Sleep in sea elegan worms.