Total sleep deprivation, chronic sleep restriction and sleep disruption

Amy C. Reynolds, Siobhan Banks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep loss may result from total sleep deprivation (such as a shift worker might experience), chronic sleep restriction (due to work, medical conditions or lifestyle) or sleep disruption (which is common in sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome). Total sleep deprivation has been widely researched, and its effects have been well described. Chronic sleep restriction and sleep disruption (also known as sleep fragmentation) have received less experimental attention. Recently, there has been increasing interest in sleep restriction and disruption as it has been recognized that they have a similar impact on cognitive functioning as a period of total sleep deprivation. Sleep loss causes impairments in cognitive performance and simulated driving and induces sleepiness, fatigue and mood changes. This review examines recent research on the effects of sleep deprivation, restriction and disruption on cognition and neurophysiologic functioning in healthy adults, and contrasts the similarities and differences between these three modalities of sleep loss.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Brain Research
EditorsG A Kerkhof, H P A Van Dongen
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Siobhan Banks is supported by a University of South Australia Research Fellowship for Women in Science. Amy Reynolds is supported by a University of South Australia Postgraduate Award.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Chronic sleep restriction
  • Cognition
  • Neurophysiologic
  • Performance
  • Sleep disruption
  • Sleep fragmentation
  • Total sleep deprivation


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