Abstract Ref Number = APCP116
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Sleep as a risk of behaviour developmental problem
Adequate sleep is essential for general healthy functioning. Restricting sleep below an individual’s optimal time in bed can cause a range of neurobehavioral deficits, including lapses of attention, slowed working memory, reduced cognitive throughput, depressed mood, and perseveration of thought. Neurobehavioral deficits accumulate across days of partial sleep loss. Restricted sleep time affects many different aspects of waking cognitive performance, but especially behavioral alertness.Many experiments have demonstrated that sleep deprivation increases behavioral lapses during performance,It has been hypothesizedthat the lapses produced by sleep loss may originate in sleep-initiating subcortical systems (e.g., hypothalamus, thalamus, and brainstem).Behavioral alertness as measured by psychomotor vigilance tasks or other sustained attention taskshas proven to be very sensitive to sleep restriction. Multiple health risk behaviors have also been linked to chronic sleep loss in adolescents, including alcohol consumption, substance abuse, and serious behaviour problems such as violence and delinquency.While a number of studies have documented an association between sleep duration and adolescent risk-taking behaviours, the mechanisms through which these occur remain poorly understood. One potential pathway involves the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its associated neurocognitive and neurobehavioral processes, which are collectively termed executive functions. These include higher level cognitive functions such as decision-making, problem-solving, planning, time management, multitasking, self-monitoring, selective attention, impulse control, and affect regulation. Numerous experimental studies over more than 30 years have documented the effects of short-term sleep restriction and deprivation on executive functions in adults. Specific executive function deficits that could impact risk-taking behaviours such as substance abuseand peer-related risky behavioursinclude impaired impulse control, poor affect regulation, and attention problems.
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