Sleep Disruption

Erica Richards, M.D., Ph.D., Maryland Pao, M.D.


  • Sleep disruptions exist when sleep is insufficient to support adequate alertness, performance, and health, either because of reduced total sleep time or fragmentation of sleep by brief arousals.
    • May be volitional or involuntary
  • Acute sleep deprivation refers to no sleep or a reduction in the usual total sleep time, usually lasting one or two days.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation (also called sleep restriction) exists when the individual routinely sleeps less than required for optimal functioning.

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Last updated: October 17, 2014