Chronic sleep loss decreases performance - One night of good sleep is not enough to recover from chronic sleep deficit

On average, a person needs about eight hours a night to preserve performance.

Acute sleep loss is being awake for more than 24 hours in a row and chronic sleep loss is getting only about four to seven hours of sleep per night.

While most people caught up on acute sleep loss with a single night of 10 hours sleep, those with chronic sleep loss showed deteriorating performance for each hour spent awake.

People are largely unaware that they are chronically sleep-deprived but they are more vulnerable to sudden sleepiness, inattentiveness, and potentially, accidents and errors.

Three days is not enough to recover from chronic sleep loss, but they still do not know how many days or weeks may be needed.

Chronic sleep loss hampers performance. Reuters, 2010.
Image source: Sleeping kitten. Wikipedia, Tilman Piesk, public domain.


  1. Hopefully this is a generalization of the Gaussian nature of human genomic make-up.
    In a world of ying and yang I suspect there are also those people who suffer from chronic over-sleep by subjecting themselves to the norms as defined by the majority.
    I await with interest the studies on the reduction in function of those people subjected to sleep for periods in excess of 8 hours a night...

  2. I have spent so long as a junior doctor, and more recently a Dad, that mild to moderate chronic sleep deprivation is now my norm.

    During a recent forced absence from work due to an operation, I got as much sleep as I fancied for a couple of weeks: it completely screwed me up. I only feel "normal" again now I'm back to being tired!