Daytime sleepiness associated with poor sustained attention in middle and late adulthood

Sleep Med. 2015 Jan;16(1):143-51. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2014.07.028. Epub 2014 Nov 13.


Objective: We aimed to determine the association between psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) performance and sleep-related factors including sleep duration, daytime sleepiness, poor sleep quality, insomnia, and habitual snoring in a population-based sample.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis from the ongoing prospective cohort study, the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. We measured PVT performance and documented demographics, sleep-related factors, life style, and medical conditions in community dwelling adults (N = 2499; mean age 57.1 ± 7.3; male 1259). Associations between PVT parameters and sleep-related factors were tested, adjusting for age, gender, smoking, alcohol use, education, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and the interval between mid-sleep time and PVT test.

Results: High Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS, ≥8) was associated with slower mean reciprocal response speed (mean RRT) (3.69 ± 0.02 vs. 3.77 ± 0.01, p < 0.001), higher probability for increased lapses (≥4) (OR 1.48, CI 1.12-1.88, p = 0.001), and more negative RRT slope (-0.036 ± 0.002 vs. -0.030 ± 0.001, p = 0.02). Older age, female gender, low education level, depressive mood, and the interval between mid-sleep and PVT test were also associated with poor performance. Sleep duration, habitual snoring, insomnia, or poor sleep quality (the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score > 5) was not related to PVT parameters.

Conclusions: At the population level, our results revealed important modifiers of PVT performance, which included subjective reports of daytime sleepiness.

Keywords: Insomnia; Lapse; Psychomotor vigilance; Sleep duration; Sleep quality; Snoring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Time Factors