Effects of Acute Sleep Deprivation Resulting from Night Shift Work on Young Doctors

Authors

  • Inês Sanches Pneumology Department. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra. Coimbra. Portugal.
  • Fátima Teixeira Pneumology Department. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra. Coimbra. Portugal. Sleep Medicine Center. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra. Coimbra. Portugal.
  • José Moutinho dos Santos Sleep Medicine Center. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra. Coimbra. Portugal.
  • António Jorge Ferreira Pneumology Department. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra. Coimbra. Portugal. Pneumology Department. Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade de Coimbra. Coimbra. Portugal.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20344/amp.5777

Keywords:

Circadian Rhythm, Physicians, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Disorders, Work Schedule Tolerance.

Abstract

Introduction: To evaluate sleep deprivation and its effects on young physicians in relation to concentration capacity and psychomotor performance.
Material and Methods: Eighteen physicians aged 26 - 33 years were divided into 2 groups: non-sleep deprived group (with no night work) and sleep deprived group (minimum 12 hour of night work/week). We applied Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to screen the presence of sleep pathology and Epworth Sleepiness Scale to evaluate subjective daytime sleepiness; we used actigraphy and sleep diary to assess sleep hygiene and standard sleep-wake cycles. To demonstrate the effects of sleep deprivation, we applied Toulouse-Piéron’s test (concentration test) and a battery of three reaction time tasks after the night duty.
Results: Sleep deprived group had higher daytime sleepiness on Epworth Sleepiness Scale (p < 0.05) and during week sleep
deprivation was higher (p < 0.010). The mean duration of sleep during the period of night duty was 184.2 minutes to sleep deprived group and 397.7 minutes to non-sleep deprived group (p < 0.001). In the Toulouse-Piéron´s test, the sleep deprived group had more omissions (p < 0.05) with a poorer result in concentration (p < 0.05). Psychomotor tests that evaluated response to simple stimuli revealed longer response latency (p < 0.05) and more errors (p < 0.05) in Sleep deprived group; in reaction to instruction test the sleep
deprived group showed worse perfection index (p < 0.05); in the fine movements test there was no statistically significant difference between the groups.
Discussion: Acute sleep deprivation resulting from nocturnal work in medical professions is associated with a reduction in attention and concentration and delayed response to stimuli. This may compromise patient care as well as the physician’s health and quality of life.
Conclusion: It is essential to study the effects of acute sleep deprivation on the cognitive abilities and performance of health
professionals.

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Published

2015-08-31

How to Cite

1.
Sanches I, Teixeira F, Santos JM dos, Ferreira AJ. Effects of Acute Sleep Deprivation Resulting from Night Shift Work on Young Doctors. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2015 Aug. 31 [cited 2023 Jun. 9];28(4):457-62. Available from: https://www.actamedicaportuguesa.com/revista/index.php/amp/article/view/5777