Sleep inertia, the state of reduced alertness upon waking, can negatively impact on-call workers. Anticipation of a stressful task on sleep inertia, while on-call was investigated. Young, healthy males (n = 23) spent an adaptation, control and two counterbalanced on-call nights in the laboratory. When on-call, participants were told they would be woken to a high or low stress task. Participants were not woken during the night, instead were given a 2300-0700 sleep opportunity. Participants slept ∼7.5-h in all conditions. Upon waking, sleep inertia was quantified using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale and Psychomotor Vigilance and Spatial Configuration Tasks, administered at 15-min intervals. Compared to control, participants felt sleepier post waking when on-call and sleepiest in the low stress compared to the high stress condition (p <.001). Spatial performance was faster when on-call compared to control (p <.001). Findings suggest that anticipating a high-stress task when on-call, does not impact sleep inertia severity.
- Cognitive performance
- Stand-by work