Shorter self-reported sleep duration is associated with worse virtual spatial navigation performance in men

Emre Yavuz, Christoffer J. Gahnstrom, Sarah Goodroe, Antoine Coutrot, Michael Hornberger, Alpar S. Lazar, Hugo J. Spiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep has been shown to impact navigation ability. However, it remains unclear how different sleep-related variables may be independently associated with spatial navigation performance, and as to whether gender may play a role in these associations. We used a mobile video game app, Sea Hero Quest (SHQ), to measure wayfinding ability in US-based participants. Wayfinding performance on SHQ has been shown to correlate with real-world wayfinding. Participants were asked to report their sleep duration, quality, daytime sleepiness and nap frequency and duration on a typical night (n = 766, 335 men, 431 women, mean age = 26.5 years, range = 18–59 years). A multiple linear regression was used to identify which self-reported sleep variables were independently associated with wayfinding performance. Shorter self-reported sleep durations were significantly associated with worse wayfinding performance in men only. Other self-reported sleep variables showed non-significant trends of association with wayfinding performance. When removing non-typical sleepers (< 6 or > 9 h of sleep on a typical night), the significant association between sleep duration and spatial navigation performance in men was no longer present. These findings from U.S.-based participants suggest that a longer self-reported sleep duration may be an important contributor to successful navigation ability in men.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4093
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2024

Cite this