Take advantage of the lockdown to improve your sleep

A recent study indicates that a large difference between sleep patterns during the week and on the weekend may impair your attention. 

While a sleep-in on the weekend may be beneficial to recover from lack of sleep during the week, the irregularity of the sleep pattern may be detrimental to your cognitive performance.

Participants of the study were given a device to follow their sleep pattern for a week. On the test day, they were given a visual attention task to track movements of balls on a screen or to focus on a central point. Meanwhile their brain activity was recorded.

The results indicated that longer weekend sleep duration was associated with greater resting-state functional connectivity within the Default Mode Network (parts of the brain associated with imagination, creativity, and predicting potentially positive and negative outcomes).

Participants who slept longer on the weekend than during the workweek, showed greater deactivation of the Default Mode Network and displayed a better attentional performance.

This beneficial effect was only observed at the beginning of the workweek, indicating that the benefit of the catch-up sleep may be limited to  mild sleep loss. 

Sleep loss may also result in increased effort of performing middle to high attention-demanding tasks.

However, inconsistent sleep duration and inconsistent sleep timing are two independent indexes of sleep inconsistency.

Unlike inconsistent sleep duration, inconsistent sleep timing has been associated with worse attentional performance. 

It would appear that even mild social jetlag can impair performance during regular working hours.


If you can, take advantage of the lockdown period of fewer social commitments to improve your sleep regularity. For a week choose to go to sleep 😮 at the same time and wake up at the same time in the morning.


The visual attention task activated frontal, parietal and occipital cortices, cerebellum, and thalamus and deactivated the Default Mode Network:


Sleep inconsistency between weekends and weekdays is associated with changes in brain function during task and rest
Rui Zhang, Dardo Tomasi, Ehsan Shokri-Kojori, Corinde E Wiers, Gene-Jack Wang, Nora D Volkow
Sleep, zsaa076,
Published: 10 April 2020

Does “Task Difficulty” Explain “Task-Induced Deactivation?”
Sam J Gilbert 1 , Geoffrey Bird, Chris D Frith, Paul W Burgess
Front Psychol. 2012 Apr 25;3:125.
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00125.

The two‐process model of sleep regulation: a reappraisal
Alexander A. BorbĂ©ly Serge Daan Anna Wirz‐Justice Tom Deboer
J Sleep Res. 2016 Apr;25(2):131-43.
doi: 10.1111/jsr.12371.

Published by Jitka Horcickova

You know how some people get bullied in the workplace? And sometimes flashbacks from the past are haunting them even years after they left that situation? Well, what I do is to help them remove the emotional charge from their traumatic experiences and find their path to freedom.

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