Sleep deprivation affects airport baggage screeners' ability to detect rare targets

Jun 11, 2007

A lack of sleep may affect the performance of airport employees, which can, in turn, compromise the safety of airline passengers. Sleep deprivation can impair the ability of airport baggage screeners to visually search for and detect infrequently occurring or low prevalence targets that may ultimately pose a threat to an airline and its passengers, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

Nayantara Santhi, MD, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, surveyed 31 healthy subjects, who participated in a 36-hour constant routine. A visual search task was administered every two hours. The subjects reported whether a target was present in a set of simultaneously presented distractors. According to the results, sleep deprivation induced a speed/accuracy trade-off, in that the search rate sped up with time awake, but errors increased, indicating decision stage impairments.

“These results suggest that safety and performance in socially critical low target prevalence search tasks may be especially vulnerable to the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation,” said Santhi.

The amount of sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good health and optimum performance.

Persons who think they might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their primary care physician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Explore further: Italian army to grow medical marijuana

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Our ambiguous world of words

May 31, 2013

(Phys.org) —Ambiguity in language poses the greatest challenge when it comes to training a computer to understand the written word. Now, new research aims to help computers find meaning.

Tech firms aim to wear the future

Feb 27, 2013

A wristwatch that reads your text messages out loud, a jacket that heats up when you're cold, eyeglasses that display directions as you walk down the street.

Professor on quest for India's hidden inventors

Jul 29, 2012

(AP) — It's 43 degrees Celsius (110 F), and Prof. Anil Gupta has been hiking the scorched plains of central India for hours. But he smiles widely as he enters a tiny village in search of another unsung ...

Recommended for you

Non-stop PET/CT scan provides accurate images

20 hours ago

Siemens is improving PET/CT imaging and data quality while reducing radiation exposure. The Biograph mCT Flow PET/CT scanner is a new positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system that, ...

Experts: Chopin's heart shows signs of TB

Sep 17, 2014

The preserved heart of composer Frederic Chopin contains signs of tuberculosis and possibly some other lung disease, medical experts said Wednesday.

The argument in favor of doping

Sep 17, 2014

Ahead of Friday's court ruling on whether ASADA's investigation into the Essendon Football Club was lawful, world leader in practical and medical ethics Professor Julian Savulescu, looks at whether there is a role for performance-enhancing ...

User comments : 0