Many adolescent students sleep less than the recommended duration of 8-10 hours a night. It is unclear; however, whether short night sleep combined with an afternoon nap is as good as having the same amount of sleep continuously during the night without a nap.
Researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School have demonstrated for the first time that different sleep schedules with the same total sleep opportunity over 24 hours may have dissimilar effects on cognition and glucose levels.
This is the first study to gather experimental evidence on the notion that 'what may be appropriate sleep for one health goal may not be for another'.
Compared to being able to sleep 9 hours a night, having only 6.5 hours to sleep in 24 hours degrades performance and mood.
Interestingly, under conditions of sleep restriction, students in the split sleep group exhibited better alertness, vigilance, working memory and mood than their counterparts who slept 6.5 hours continuously.
This finding is remarkable as the measured total sleep duration over 24 hours was actually less in the former group.