The handful of studies that examined split sleep schedules with normal total sleep duration in working-age adults found that both schedules yield comparable brain performance. However, no study has looked at the impact of such schedules on brain function and glucose levels together, especially when total sleep is shorter than optimal. The latter is important because of links between short sleep and risk for diabetes.
The researchers measured cognitive performance and glucose levels following a standardized load in students, aged 15-19 years, during two simulated school weeks with short sleep on school days and recovery sleep on weekends. On school days, these students received either continuous sleep of 6.5 hours at night or split sleep (night sleep of 5 hours plus a 1.5-hour afternoon nap).
Study - Students - Sleep - Habits - Day
"We undertook this study after students who were advised on good sleep habits asked if they could split up their sleep across the day and night, instead of having a main sleep period at night," said Prof. Michael Chee, Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Professor of Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School and one of the study's senior authors. "We found that compared to being able to sleep 9 hours a night, having only 6.5 hours to sleep in 24 hours degrades performance and mood. Interestingly, under conditions of sleep restriction, students in the...
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