NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours
Negative Impacts on Sleep (Continued)
The human brain can respond to sleep deprivation by reducing alertness and generating microsleeps – involuntary episodes of sleep lasting a few seconds.
During microsleep, you may appear to be awake (eyes open), but your brain will not process information. Thus, lapses in attention occur.
Microsleep is detectible on ambulatory electroencephalograms (EEGs) and is strongly correlated with automobile crashes.9 Therefore, its occurrence during critical activities, such as driving and carrying out nursing care, is dangerous.