Long-term sleep loss is thought to affect people’s short-term memory but less is known about how it affects people’s ability to cope with distractions while using their short-term memory. In this study Frida H. Rangtell, from Uppsala University in Sweden, led a team of researchers studying 24 young adults who had a full night’s sleep one night and no sleep whatsoever the next. The participants took a working-memory test remembering and retrieving an eight-digit sequence with and without an “auditory distraction.” The researchers found that sleep loss impaired women’s working-memories although the women themselves were unaware of any drop in performance. Men were unaffected by missing out on a night’s sleep.
You can read the abstract of this article here.