Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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Effect of sleep on work

Sleep is an integral part of our lives. An average adult should sleep around 7-8 hours per day. Sleep is important to maintain metabolic-caloric balance, thermal regulation and even immune competence.

Sleep is also essential for learning and memory consolidation as well as increasing one's concentration. An advice to students will be to sleep well after studying. Your learning sessions will not show any improved performance until you have a slow wave or slow wave plus REM sleep. Slow wave sleep refers to a deep sleep while REM sleep refers to the period in sleep whereby there is a characteristic movement of the eyeballs during the sleep.

Medical interns and residents are known to burn the midnight oil. But unfortunately for them, working for more than 24 continual hours make them around 40% more prone to make medical errors. Residents are twice more likely to have attentional failure i.e. they forget what they are actually doing. Studies  have shown that 1 in 5 residents believe that they made a fatigue-related mistake and 1 in 20 of the cases eventually led to the death of the patient.

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