A team of sleep scientists found that an acute lack of sleep impacts working memory differently in women and men

Working memory, which helps facilitate reasoning and planning, is important for keeping things in mind for briefer periods of time.

A new study saw 24 young adults perform a working memory task in the morning following either a full night of sleep or a night of wakefulness. They had to learn and remember eight-digit sequences.

Half of the participants were female, and half were male.

Women were unaware of the drop in working performance when sleep-deprived. A lack of awareness of impaired mental performance could increase the risk of accidents.

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Males’ working memory performance remained unaffected by sleep loss. In contrast, females remembered fewer digits after sleep loss than after a night of sleep.

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Even though their performance was reduced, females were unaware of the drop in working performance when sleep-deprived. A lack of awareness of impaired mental performance could increase the risk of accidents and mistakes.

The bottom-line: Let’s not skimp on sleep, ladies, it doesn’t do us any good!

Source: Uppsala University via www.sciencedaily.com

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