Effect of sleep deprivation on the performance of surgical residents

Am J Surg. 1987 Nov;154(5):520-5. doi: 10.1016/0002-9610(87)90269-8.


Surgical residents were tested under sleep-deprived and nonsleep-deprived conditions. Three performance domains were tested: factual recall, the ability to concentrate, and manual dexterity. Sleep deprivation was defined as less than 3 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. A randomized, repeated measures design was used. Split-plot analysis of variances was used to analyze the mean scores, and it revealed that there were no significant differences in performance in the sleep-deprived condition compared with performance in the nonsleep-deprived condition in any of the three domains tested. Moderate sleep deprivation appeared to be well tolerated by the surgical residents studied in this investigation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Random Allocation
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiology*