Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Walk, Study Reveals

Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Walk news

Health News – New study found that periodically catching up on your sleep can improve gait control and reduce fatigue-induced clumsiness, for the chronically sleep-deprived.

In a new study, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) enlisted a few students from the University of São Paulo (Brazil) to take part in an experiment on the effects of sleep deprivation on gait control. The participants were given a watch to track their activities over 14 days. To record their natural sleeping pattern, the researchers didn’t give any restriction to the participants on how long they should sleep.

The records showed that on an average each participant slept for six hours/day, though some of the participants compensated, catching up on sleep over the two weekends during the 14 days. One group of participants stayed awake all night on the evening before the 14th day. In the morning, they went for a walking test on a treadmill.

The study findings showed that participants who slept less had less control when walking and those who pulled an all-nighter had better gait control. It found that participants who compensate for their sleep on weekends performed better than those who got less-than-ideal sleep during the week and didn’t compensate for it on the weekends.

“They had to synchronize their heel strike to the beat, and we found the errors were larger in people with acute sleep deprivation,” said Arturo Forner-Cordero, lead author of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“We also find that compensating for sleep could be an important strategy. For instance, for those who are chronically sleep-deprived, like shift workers, clinicians, and some military personnel, if they build in regular sleep compensation, they might have better control over their gait,” said Hermano Igo Krebs, principal research scientist in MIT.

To Know More You May Refer to:

Umemura, G.S., Pinho, J.P., Duysens, J. et al. Sleep deprivation affects gait control. Sci Rep 11, 21104 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00705-9

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