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"An Endogenous Circadian Rhythm in Sleep Inertia Results in Greatest Cognitive Impairment upon Awakening during the Biological Night", J Biol Rhythms

August 8, 2008



An Endogenous Circadian Rhythm in Sleep Inertia Results in Greatest Cognitive
Impairment upon Awakening during the Biological Night. Scheer FA, Shea TJ, Hilton MF, Shea SA. J Biol Rhythms. 2008 Aug;23(4):353-61.

In a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Biological Rhythms, Frank AJL Scheer, PhD and colleagues of the Medical Chronobiology Program at BWH and the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, have shown that sleep inertia, the transient cognitive impairment following awakening, is affected by the biological clock. The magnitude of sleep inertia was nearly four-fold when awakening during the biological night as compared to the biological day.

These findings have potential implications for on-call professionals making critical decisions upon awakening, which can happen at any time of day or night. The other authors are Thomas J. Shea, Michael F. Hilton and Steven A. Shea.


Related Links
Link to abstract on the Journal of Biological Rhythms website
Brigham and Women's Hospital Press Release
Washington Post news coverage, "Interrupted Night Sleep Worse for Cognitive Function"

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