A Unified Model of Performance: Validation of its Predictions across Different Sleep/Wake Schedules

Sleep. 2016 Jan 1;39(1):249-62. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5358.


Study objectives: Historically, mathematical models of human neurobehavioral performance developed on data from one sleep study were limited to predicting performance in similar studies, restricting their practical utility. We recently developed a unified model of performance (UMP) to predict the effects of the continuum of sleep loss-from chronic sleep restriction (CSR) to total sleep deprivation (TSD) challenges-and validated it using data from two studies of one laboratory. Here, we significantly extended this effort by validating the UMP predictions across a wide range of sleep/wake schedules from different studies and laboratories.

Methods: We developed the UMP on psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) lapse data from one study encompassing four different CSR conditions (7 d of 3, 5, 7, and 9 h of sleep/night), and predicted performance in five other studies (from four laboratories), including different combinations of TSD (40 to 88 h), CSR (2 to 6 h of sleep/night), control (8 to 10 h of sleep/night), and nap (nocturnal and diurnal) schedules.

Results: The UMP accurately predicted PVT performance trends across 14 different sleep/wake conditions, yielding average prediction errors between 7% and 36%, with the predictions lying within 2 standard errors of the measured data 87% of the time. In addition, the UMP accurately predicted performance impairment (average error of 15%) for schedules (TSD and naps) not used in model development.

Conclusions: The unified model of performance can be used as a tool to help design sleep/wake schedules to optimize the extent and duration of neurobehavioral performance and to accelerate recovery after sleep loss.

Keywords: PVT; biomathematical model; chronic sleep restriction; naps; total sleep deprivation; two-process model.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Models, Psychological
  • Polysomnography
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Wakefulness / physiology*
  • Young Adult