Can a mathematical model predict an individual's trait-like response to both total and partial sleep loss?

J Sleep Res. 2015 Jun;24(3):262-9. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12272. Epub 2015 Jan 5.


Humans display a trait-like response to sleep loss. However, it is not known whether this trait-like response can be captured by a mathematical model from only one sleep-loss condition to facilitate neurobehavioural performance prediction of the same individual during a different sleep-loss condition. In this paper, we investigated the extent to which the recently developed unified mathematical model of performance (UMP) captured such trait-like features for different sleep-loss conditions. We used the UMP to develop two sets of individual-specific models for 15 healthy adults who underwent two different sleep-loss challenges (order counterbalanced; separated by 2-4 weeks): (i) 64 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD) and (ii) chronic sleep restriction (CSR) of 7 days of 3 h nightly time in bed. We then quantified the extent to which models developed using psychomotor vigilance task data under TSD predicted performance data under CSR, and vice versa. The results showed that the models customized to an individual under one sleep-loss condition accurately predicted performance of the same individual under the other condition, yielding, on average, up to 50% improvement over non-individualized, group-average model predictions. This finding supports the notion that the UMP captures an individual's trait-like response to different sleep-loss conditions.

Keywords: biomathematical model; psychomotor vigilance task; sleep-loss phenotype; trait preservation; two-process model.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors