Effects of sleep deprivation on performance: a meta-analysis

Sleep. 1996 May;19(4):318-26. doi: 10.1093/sleep/19.4.318.


To quantitatively describe the effects of sleep loss, we used meta-analysis, a technique relatively new to the sleep research field, to mathematically summarize data from 19 original research studies. Results of our analysis of 143 study coefficients and a total sample size of 1.932 suggest that overall sleep deprivation strongly impairs human functioning. Moreover, we found that mood is more affected by sleep deprivation than either cognitive or motor performance and that partial sleep deprivation has a more profound effect on functioning than either long-term or short-term sleep deprivation. In general, these results indicate that the effects of sleep deprivation may be underestimated in some narrative reviews, particularly those concerning the effects of partial sleep deprivation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Cognition
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills*
  • Sleep Deprivation*