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Free Content Electrodermal lability as an indicator for subjective sleepiness during total sleep deprivation

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The present study addresses the suitability of electrodermal lability as an indicator of individual vulnerability to the effects of total sleep deprivation. During two complete circadian cycles, the effects of 48 h of total sleep deprivation on physiological measures (electrodermal activity and body temperature), subjective sleepiness (measured by visual analogue scale and tiredness symptom scale) and task performance (reaction time and errors in a go/no go task) were investigated. Analyses of variance with repeated measures revealed substantial decreases of the number of skin conductance responses, body temperature, and increases for subjective sleepiness, reaction time and error rates. For all changes, strong circadian oscillations could be observed as well. The electrodermal more labile subgroup reported higher subjective sleepiness compared with electrodermal more stable participants, but showed no differences in the time courses of body temperature and task performance. Therefore, electrodermal lability seems to be a specific indicator for the changes in subjective sleepiness due to total sleep deprivation and circadian oscillations, but not a suitable indicator for vulnerability to the effects of sleep deprivation per se.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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