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Manipulating sleep duration perception changes cognitive performance – An exploratory analysis

Rahman, S.A., Rood, D., Trent, N., Solet, J., Langer, E.J. and Lockley, S.W. (2020) Manipulating sleep duration perception changes cognitive performance – An exploratory analysis Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 132, 109992.

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To test the effect of perceived sleep duration on cognitive performance.


Sixteen healthy individuals [8F; mean age (± SD): 24.2 ± 3.0 years)] received an 8-h sleep opportunity followed by a 5-h opportunity on two consecutive nights. Upon waking, they were randomized to being informed that they received either an 8-h or 5-h sleep opportunity, via a clock that ran either fast, slow or normally. Cognitive performance was assessed using 10-min auditory psychomotor vigilance tests and subjective sleepiness ratings. Homeostatic and circadian sleep drive was assessed using waking electroencephalography (EEG).


Reaction time was significantly quicker when individuals thought that they had slept for 8 h but given a 5-h sleep opportunity. Conversely, reaction times were significantly slower when individuals thought they had 5 h of sleep but given an 8-h sleep opportunity. EEG delta power (1.0–4.5 Hz) during wake increased significantly when sleep was restricted to 5 h, and individuals thought they slept for 5 h, but this increase was attenuated with a perceived sleep duration of 8 h following a 5-h opportunity. EEG delta power did not increase, however, with perceived sleep restriction. EEG high-alpha activity (10.5–11.5 Hz) was consistently higher when participants thought that they had an 8-h sleep opportunity, regardless of the actual duration.


These results suggest that perceived sleep duration may modulate psychosomatic responses. Additional studies with predefined outcomes and analyses are necessary to confirm these findings, which may have important implications for understanding how sleep affects cognition and psychosomatic responses.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Rahman, S.A.
Rood, D.
Trent, N.
Solet, J.
Langer, E.J.
Date : May 2020
DOI : 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.109992
Uncontrolled Keywords : Alertness, Cognition, False-clock paradigm, Perceived time, Sleep, adult, alpha rhythm, Article, circadian rhythm, cognition, electroencephalography, exploratory research, female, human, human experiment, male, normal human, perception, psychomotor vigilance task, psychosomatics, reaction time, sleep time, somnolence, wakefulness, young adult
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 17 Jun 2020 00:29
Last Modified : 17 Jun 2020 00:29

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