Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Summary of Findings:  Sleep (5 out of 5 Stars)

Note: This post represents the synthesis of the thoughts, procedures and experiences of others as represented in the articles read in advance (see previous posts) and the discussion among the students and instructor during the Advanced Analytic Techniques class at Mercyhurst University in October 2017 regarding Sleep as an Analytic Modifier specifically. This technique was evaluated based on its overall validity, simplicity, flexibility and its ability to effectively use unstructured data.

Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but is more easily reversed than the state of being comatose. Sleep influences memory, emotional stability, and physical recovery. In terms of intelligence analysis, sleep is a technique modifier, not an analytic method.
  • Allows the body to repair muscles, ligaments, and tissues
  • Better cognitive performance
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Keeps you alert, able to focus, and less irritable
  • If you can convince your team to make the change it is a small, low cost, easy step to increase productivity
  • Decreases risk for health conditions

  • It’s a complex study that contains many confounding variables
  • It is very subjective as sleep requirement of individual differs depending on their health, age and physical activity
  • The proper amount of sleep is different for each individual, along with a host of factors that can affect sleep, such as exercise and diet
  • Oversleeping can affect energy levels
  • Despite research, it’s hard to get people to buy into changing their habits
  • Long deep sleep might lead to muscle soreness
  • Overtime, sleep deprivation can lead to diabetes and obesity5


  1. Avoid sugar, caffeine, and blue light in the hours before bed
  2. Lay down in a comfortable position
  3. Close eyes. Breathe deeply

Application of Technique:
For the application of sleep as a modifier to express how important sleep is to cognitive function, the class participated in three exercises. The class competed in these exercises against two baseline sleep deprived individuals who stayed up through the previous night (thank you Matt and Sam). The class first took a baseline sleep deprivation quiz to get a quantified measurement on how sleep deprived they were walking into the assessment. The class then participated in a short-term memory game, to determine how memory was impacted. The class’s final exercise was to participate in the cognitive reflection test in order to test the cognitive power of the class.

The scores of each class member were measured in regards to how many they had right, and compared against the individuals who stayed up through the previous night and how different they were. Upon discussion of the class, there were vastly different results from our two sleep deprived individuals. Matt, who performed well on the memory test, stated that even though he did well, he was not as confident as he would’ve been had he been properly rested.   

Links for the exercises performed by the class below. For participation at home, scores of sleep deprived individuals were as follows: Sam (Baseline Moderate/High, Memory 2/20, Cognitive Reflection 1/3) and Matt (Baseline Moderate/High, Memory 15/20, and Cognitive Reflection 2/3).

For Further Information:

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