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VOLUME 33, ISSUE 11

SOCIALIZING, PERSONALITY AND THE EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Socializing by Day May Affect Performance by Night: Vulnerability to Sleep Deprivation is Differentially Mediated by Social Exposure in Extraverts vs Introverts

Tracy L. Rupp, PhD; William D.S. Killgore, PhD; Thomas J. Balkin, PhD

Behavioral Biology Branch, Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD



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Study Objectives:

To examine the effects of socially enriched versus socially impoverished environments on performance and alertness decline during sleep deprivation in extraverts versus introverts.

Design:

Participants (n = 29 men, n = 19 women) were assigned to socially enriched (n = 24; 13 introverts, 11 extraverts) or socially impoverished (n = 24; 12 introverts, 12 extraverts) conditions (activities matched) for 12 hours (1000–2200) on Day 1 followed by 22 hours of sleep deprivation (2200-2000; 36 h awake total), monitored by actigraphy. The median split of volunteers' Eysenck Extraversion scores was used for extravert/introvert categorization. The Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT), modified Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT), and Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS) were administered every 2 hours throughout. PVT speed, transformed lapses, modified MWT sleep-onset latency, and SSS were analyzed using mixed-model analyses of variance, with covariates of age and total actigraphic activity during enrichment or impoverishment.

Setting:

Residential sleep/performance testing facility.

Participants:

Forty-eight healthy adults (aged 18–39).

Interventions:

Twelve hours of socially enriched or isolated environments in extraverts and introverts prior to sleep deprivation.

Results

Social experience interacted with personality type to affect alertness and vigilance. Social enrichment, as compared with social impoverishment, was associated with more PVT lapses at 04:00 overall. Similarly, following social enrichment, PVT speed was significantly slower among extraverts than among introverts during sleep deprivation, but no personality-group differences emerged following social impoverishment. MWT sleep latency and SSS subjective sleepiness did not show significant personality or social-condition effects during sleep deprivation.

Conclusions:

The effect of social exposure on vulnerability or resiliency to sleep deprivation was modulated by introversion and extraversion. Extraverts exposed to social environments were more vulnerable to subsequent sleep deprivation than were introverts.

Citation:

Rupp TL; Killgore WDS; Balkin TJ. Socializing by day may affect performance by night: vulnerability to sleep deprivation is differentially mediated by social exposure in extraverts vs introverts. SLEEP 2010;33(11):1475-1485.

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