Insufficient sleep and circadian disruption
Insufficient and/or poor-quality sleep can have severe consequences for our health, performance and safety. Sleep disruption occurs in both working and clinical populations where it may be an indicator or driver of disease progression.
Sleep disturbance can take many forms and includes acute sleep deprivation/extended wakefulness, being abruptly awoken (e.g., emergency responders), and chronic sleep restriction. In addition, circadian misalignment, where the circadian clock is inappropriately aligned with the desired sleep/wake schedule, as occurs in shift work and jet lag, also results in short, poor quality sleep episodes. Insufficient or mistimed sleep and/or operating at an adverse circadian phase not only impacts both physical and cognitive performance but may have safety implications as it can lead to poor decision-making and slower reaction times.
We are concerned with assessing the prevalence of sleep disruption in emergency responder/military populations as well as the development and testing of interventions to improve sleep/circadian rhythms in operational and clinical settings, including administration of specific lighting and caffeine.
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