Barnes, whose research interests include team performance and decision making, and behavioral ethics, became interested in sleep and work behavior while serving in the Air Force. “At Officer Training School, we were sleep deprived for the entire three-and-a-half month period. I can remember feeling like a zombie and not retaining much information from our lectures.”
Assigned after training to a branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory that investigates fatigue, Barnes conducted research on the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation on both pilots and the people who gave commands to the pilots. “I was amazed at the powerful effects of sleep deprivation on human functioning.”
Later, while pursuing a Ph.D., he focused on sleep and sleep deprivation as part of his research on fatigue in organizations.
He has published articles on how sleep deprivation influences decision-making in teams and how changing to daylight saving time cuts into sleep and increases workplace accidents. A new article linking lack of sleep to “cyberloafing” has been accepted for publication (see related article).