Changes in subjective motivation and effort during sleep restriction moderate interindividual differences in attentional performance in healthy young men

Gina Marie Mathew, Stephen M. Strayer, David S. Bailey, Katherine Buzzell, Kelly M. Ness, Margeaux M. Schade, Nicole G. Nahmod, Orfeu M. Buxton, Anne Marie Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The effects of sleep restriction on subjective alertness, motivation, and effort vary among individuals and may explain interindividual differences in attention during sleep restriction. We investigated whether individuals with a greater decrease in subjective alertness or motivation, or a greater increase in subjective effort (versus other participants), demonstrated poorer attention when sleep restricted. Participants and Methods: Fifteen healthy men (M±SD, 22.3±2.8 years) completed a study with three nights of 10-hour time in bed (baseline), five nights of 5-hour time in bed (sleep restriction), and two nights of 10-hour time in bed (recovery). Participants completed a 10-minute psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) of sustained attention and rated alertness, motivation, and effort every two hours during wake (range: 3–9 administrations on a given day). Analyses examined performance across the study (first two days excluded) moderated by per-participant change in subjective alertness, motivation, or effort from baseline to sleep restriction. For significant interactions, we investigated the effect of study day2 (day*day) on the outcome at low (mean−1 SD) and high (mean+1 SD) levels of the moderator (N = 15, all analyses). Results: False starts increased across sleep restriction in participants who reported lower (mean−1 SD) but not preserved (mean+1 SD) motivation during sleep restriction. Lapses increased across sleep restriction regardless of change in subjective motivation, with a more pronounced increase in participants who reported lower versus preserved motivation. Lapses increased across sleep restriction in participants who reported higher (mean+1 SD) but not preserved (mean−1 SD) effort during sleep restriction. Change in subjective alertness did not moderate the effects of sleep restriction on attention. Conclusion: Vigilance declines during sleep restriction regardless of change in subjective alertness or motivation, but individuals with reduced motivation exhibit poorer inhibition. Individuals with preserved subjective alertness still perform poorly during sleep restriction, while those reporting additional effort demonstrate impaired vigilance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1136
Number of pages20
JournalNature and Science of Sleep
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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