It may not be surprising that lack of sleep leaves you less sharp, but researchers have now quantified the effect with a surprisingly large sample: More than 30,000 people who wear Microsoft’s fitness bands and use Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
The results of the study suggest that a couple of short nights can slow you down for days afterward.
“When you don’t sleep well, it affects your cognitive performance, which means your work performance and lots of other things,” lead study author Tim Althoff said in a report on the Microsoft Next blog.
Althoff, who’s working on his Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University, led the research team last summer during an internship at Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Wash. The resulting paper is to be presented in April at this year’s World Wide Web Conference in Perth, Australia.