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Brain and Mental Performance

Sleep Deprivation Affects Mental Performance the Same as Alcohol

19 years, 3 months ago

5649  0
Posted on Sep 26, 2002, 5 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Investigators in Australia and New Zealand have found that being awake for 18 hours has deleterious effects on mental performance comparable to those of alcohol consumption. The study found that after being awake for 16.91-18.55 hours, test performance was similar to that for subjects with a blood alcohol level of 0.

Investigators in Australia and New Zealand have found that being awake for 18 hours has deleterious effects on mental performance comparable to those of alcohol consumption. The study found that after being awake for 16.91-18.55 hours, test performance was similar to that for subjects with a blood alcohol level of 0.055, while the performance of those who had been awake for 17.74-19.65 was the same as those with a blood alcohol level of 0.1% - the legal driving limit. The scientists warn that drivers should be aware that fatigue compromises the level of accuracy and reaction needed to operate machinery and drive safely.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2000; 57: 649-655.

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