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During sleep deprivation, the homeostatic sleep drive does not build up as high in the long sleepers as in the short sleepers due to allostatic effects from prior sleep history, and at least in part as a consequence of genetic make-up, there are large individual differences in the cognitive deficits caused by sleep deprivation. A frequently overlooked aspect of trait vulnerability to sleep loss is that ranking of individuals in terms of magnitude of their vulnerability depends on the task they perform. Despite an ongoing, worldwide search for predictors of trait vulnerability to sleep loss, reliable biomarkers have not yet been identified. Handful of genetic polymorphisms has been found to modulate individual vulnerability to sleep deprivation. In summary, healthy adults exhibit systematic individual differences both in sleep duration and in cognitive impairment due to sleep loss.