The present study analyses the variations of the skin resistance level (SRL) during 48 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD) and its relationship to body temperature, self-informed sleepiness in the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS), and reaction time (RT). All of the variables were evaluated every 2 h except for the SSS, which was evaluated every hour. A total of 30 healthy subjects (15 men and 15 women) from 18 to 24 years old participated in the experiment. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with TSD days and time-of-day as factors showed a substantial increase of SRL, SSS, and RT, and a decrease in body temperature marked by strong circadian oscillations. The interaction between day by time-of-day was only significant for RT. Furthermore, Pearson's correlations showed that the increase of SRL is associated to the decrease in temperature (mean r=−0.511), the increase of SSS (mean r=0.509), and the deterioration of RT (mean r=0.425). The results support previous TSD reports and demonstrate the sensitivity of SRL to TSD. The non-invasive character of SRL, its simplicity, and its relationships with other activation parameters, widely validated by previous literature, convert SRL into an interesting and useful measure in this field.
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total sleep deprivation
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment, Sleep Study Unit, School of Psychology, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Department of Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Jaén, Jaén, Spain
Publication date: 2002-06-01