Sleep inertia associated with a 10-min nap before the commute home following a night shift: A laboratory simulation study

Night shift workers are at risk of road accidents due to sleepiness on the commute home. A brief nap at the end of the night shift, before the commute, may serve as a sleepiness countermeasure. However, there is potential for sleep inertia, i.e. transient impairment immediately after awakening from the nap. The authors investigated whether sleep inertia diminishes the effectiveness of napping as a sleepiness countermeasure before a simulated commute after a simulated night shift. N = 21 healthy subjects (aged 21–35 y; 12 females) participated in a 3-day laboratory study. After a baseline night, subjects were kept awake for 27 h for a simulated night shift. They were randomised to either receive a 10-min nap ending at 04:00 plus a 10-min pre-drive nap ending at 07:10 (10-NAP) or total sleep deprivation (NO-NAP). A 40-min York highway driving task was performed at 07:15 to simulate the commute. A 3-min psychomotor vigilance test (PVT-B) and the Samn-Perelli Fatigue Scale (SP-Fatigue) were administered at 06:30 (pre-nap), 07:12 (post-nap), and 07:55 (post-drive). In the 10-NAP condition, total pre-drive nap sleep time was 9.1 ± 1.2 min (mean ± SD), with 1.3 ± 1.9 min spent in slow wave sleep, as determined polysomnographically. There was no difference between conditions in PVT-B performance at 06:30 (before the nap). In the 10-NAP condition, PVT-B performance was worse after the nap (07:12) compared to before the nap (06:30); no change across time was found in the NO-NAP condition. There was no significant difference between conditions in PVT-B performance after the drive. SP-Fatigue and driving performance did not differ significantly between conditions. In conclusion, the pre-drive nap showed objective, but not subjective, evidence of sleep inertia immediately after awakening. The 10-min nap did not affect driving performance during the simulated commute home, and was not effective as a sleepiness countermeasure.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01627549
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 5:12PM