Skip to content

Sleep Deprivation Impairs Ability To Complete Complex Tasks

Sleep deprivation can impair your ability to successfully complete complex tasks, a new study reports.


A good night’s sleep is important to maintaining both physical and cognitive health. Our bodies know this instinctively, and researchers have proved many times that this is true.


Several studies have already shown that sleep protects your vascular health, maintains brain health and strengthens your immune system.

Conversely, sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease, cause depression, and increase your risk for diabetes. Moreover, it also impairs memory and visual perception.



sleep deprivation



Sleep Deprivation: Effects On Performing Complex Tasks

Michigan State researchers tested the effects of sleep deprivation on performing complex tasks.

Investigators divided 138 participants into two groups; Group A and Group B

On Day-1, both groups were given two tasks. The first one measured their reaction time to a particular stimulus. The second task required the completion of a difficult task even with repeated interruptions.

That night,

Group A: Stayed in the University lab all night and had no sleep.

Group B: Went home to sleep.

On Day-2, each participant had to repeat these tasks to see how their performance compared with that of the previous evening. The researchers found that Group A, who were sleep deprived did very poorly on the complex task.


Indeed, the results showed that Group A, the sleep deprived group made double and triple the number of errors on the complex task compared to Group B.

The researchers conclude that that sleep deprivation actually affects higher cognitive functioning, interfering with memory recall to a large extent. The results suggest that completing a complex activity that requires multiple steps, such as a medical procedure, is high risk when sleep deprived.


Therefore, sleep deprived individuals need to be cautious. They won’t even realize they’re making mistakes. For example, driving a car or using machinery can be a huge (fatal) problem if the operator is sleep deprived. Higher level cognitive abilities are significantly impaired.


Get a good night’s sleep.


Leave a Comment

5 × two =

Scroll To Top