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No persisting effect of partial sleep curtailment on cognitive performance and declarative memory recall in adolescents

Kopasz, M., Loessl, B., Valerius, G., Koenig, E., Matthaeas, N., Hornyak, M., Kloepfer, C., Nissen, C., Riemann, D. and Voderholzer, U. (2010) No persisting effect of partial sleep curtailment on cognitive performance and declarative memory recall in adolescents. Journal of Sleep Research, 19 (1-Part-I). pp. 71-79.

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Growing evidence indicates that sleep facilitates learning and memory processing. Sleep curtailment is increasingly common in adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of short‐term sleep curtailment on declarative memory consolidation in adolescents. A randomized, cross‐over study design was chosen. Twenty‐two healthy subjects, aged 14–16 years, spent three consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory with a bedtime of 9 h during the first night (adaptation), 4 h during the second (partial sleep curtailment) and 9 h during the third night (recovery). The control condition consisted of three consecutive nights with bedtimes of 9 h. Both experimental conditions were separated by at least 3 weeks. The acquisition phase for the declarative tests was between 16:00 and 18:00 hours before the second night. Memory performance was examined in the morning after the recovery night. Executive function, attention and concentration were also assessed to control for any possible effects of tiredness. During the 4‐h night, we observed a curtailment of 50% of non‐rapid eye movement (non‐REM), 5% of slow wave sleep (SWS) and 70% of REM sleep compared with the control night. Partial sleep curtailment of one night did not influence declarative memory retrieval significantly. Recall in the paired‐associate word list task was correlated positively with percentage of non‐REM sleep in the recovery night. Declarative memory consolidation does not appear to be influenced by short‐term sleep curtailment in adolescents. This may be explained by the high ability of adolescents to compensate for acute sleep loss. The correlation between non‐REM sleep and declarative memory performance supports earlier findings.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2009 University Medical Center Freiburg
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