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Cruisin' for a Snoozin': the role of sleep in resilience to simulated military operational stress

LaGoy, Alice D (2022) Cruisin' for a Snoozin': the role of sleep in resilience to simulated military operational stress. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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BACKGROUND: Military personnel must maintain high levels of operational performance despite exposure to sleep loss, caloric restriction, physical exertion and high cognitive loads. These operational stressors may influence sleep, operational performance and perception-action coupling performance. Sleep prior to exposure to operational stressors may mitigate the effects of such stressors.
PURPOSE: 1) Examine trait-like aspects of sleep parameters across exposure to simulated military operational stress (SMOS); 2) Examine the impact of baseline sleep on operationally-relevant performance outcomes; 3) Examine the effects of SMOS on perception-action coupling; 4) Examine different aspects of neurobehavioral resilience and differences in baseline sleep between resilient and vulnerable participants
METHODS: 69 active-duty and reserve status military personnel completed a 5-day SMOS protocol that included two days of sleep restriction and disruption. Participants completed assessments of subjective alertness, vigilance, perception-action coupling, marksmanship and physical performance throughout the protocol. 1) Intra-class correlations across different sleep opportunities were calculated for EEG sleep parameters. 2) Habitual and baseline sleep parameters were regressed on marksmanship and physical performance outcomes. 3) Effects of SMOS and time-of-day on perception-action coupling were examined. 4) Participants were classified as resilient or vulnerable using a 2-step decision-making approach that included performance during sleep disruption and change in performance from baseline of different neurobehavioral (alertness, vigilance and perception-action coupling) assessments.
RESULTS: 1) Absolute spectral activity during non-rapid eye movement sleep was stable and robust across variable sleep opportunities during the SMOS protocol (ICC > .6). 2) Baseline aerobic fitness, daytime sleepiness and slow wave activity predicted physical performance but not marksmanship. 3) Perception-action coupling was maintained during typical waking hours (18:00 and 22:00) but deteriorated across days at 04:00. 4) Subjective measures of alertness, and behavioral measures of vigilance and perception-action coupling reflect distinct aspects of neurobehavioral resilience.
CONCLUSION: Individual differences in sleep are maintained across exposure to SMOS, demonstrating the trait-like nature of sleep. Differences in baseline sleep may have implications for operationally-relevant aspects of physical performance and for neurobehavioral resilience. Lastly, perception-action coupling performance is sensitive to the combined effects of SMOS and time-of-day and reflects a distinct aspect of performance from vigilance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
LaGoy, Alice
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairConnaboy,
Committee CoChairFerrarelli,
Committee CoChairGermain,
Committee MemberMi,
Committee MemberFlanagan, Shawn
Date: 24 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 November 2021
Approval Date: 24 January 2022
Submission Date: 29 November 2021
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 201
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: sleep; resilience; military; neurobehavioral; sensorimotor
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 13:15
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 13:15

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