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Free Content Effects of a combination of napping and bright light pulses on shift workers' sleepiness at the wheel: a pilot study

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To assess the effects of napping + bright light on shift work drivers sleepiness at the wheel, we performed a pilot study on nine shift workers on three shifts (morning, afternoon, night), driving on a private road circuit. Sleepiness at the wheel was measured by ambulatory polysomnography and assessed using 30-s segments of recordings with a percentage of theta electroencephalogram of at least 50% (15 s) of the period recorded. Sleepiness was also assessed by the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS). Participants drove the same car on two similar 24-h periods of work, with three drivers in each shift (morning, afternoon, night), separated by 3 weeks. During the baseline period, the subjects were told to manage their rest as usual. During the second experimental period, they had to rest lying in a dark room with two naps of 20 min and then exposed to bright light (5000 lux) for 10 min. Subjects showed a significantly decreased sleepiness at the wheel with an average of 10.7 ± 6.7 episodes of theta sleep during the baseline (766 ± 425 s) versus 1.0 ± 1.0 episode lasting 166 ± 96 s during the second period (P = 0.016; P = 0.0109). The percentage of driving asleep was also significantly reduced (3.7% ± 1.9% versus 0.9% ± 0.6%, P = 0.0077). The average SSS score in the group decreased from 2.76 ± 1.27 to 2.28 ± 0.74 (P = 0.09). In this pilot and preliminary study, a combination of napping and bright light pulses was powerful in decreasing sleepiness at the wheel of shift work drivers.

Keywords: bright light pulses; driving; naps; shift work; sleepiness

Document Type: Erratum


Affiliations: 1: Université Paris Descartes, APHP, Hôtel Dieu, Centre du Sommeil et de la Vigilance 2: Centre du Sommeil, Hopital Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France 3: Service Médical, Renault, Boulogne, France 4: Université Paris Descartes, APHP, Hopital Cochin, Service de Pathologie Professionnelle

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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