Fatigue is a major cause of accidents. The concentration decreases, we react less quickly and make more mistakes overall. American and Australian researchers have now described an effect of fatigue due to lack of sleep, which describes the flaws in the behavior of tired people in more detail. According to the results of this study, tired people gradually lose the ability to respond to feedback on their behavior. Therefore, tired people are less well able to correct errors, write the researchers in the journal Sleep, as reported by Spektrum science.
Feedback is getting progressively worse
For their experiment, researchers kept 22 volunteers (including 10 women) aged between 22 and 40 years awake for up to 62 hours. The participants always had to make decisions that could be right or wrong. If the answers were wrong, the study leaders immediately gave a corrective indication. The result: If the subjects were still well rested, they could take the corrective notes and include them in the next answers. As sleep deprivation progressed, feedback was less and less received.
According to the researchers, this observation may also explain why people who are deprived of sleep may be particularly effective for short periods of time. The high-performance phases are therefore explained by the carelessness of tired people. Decisions would be made quickly - without time-consuming considerations. The neural safety net may not be involved in decision-making in these phases. That in turn is particularly risky in dangerous situations.