Recurrent On-Duty Sleepiness and Alertness Management Strategies in Long-Haul Airline Pilots

The authors examined whether long-haul airline pilots without recurrent on-duty sleepiness obtain more prior sleep and use more effective in-flight alertness management strategies than their colleagues with recurrent on-duty sleepiness. There were 51 pilots who flew at least twice from Helsinki to Asia. Of them, 44 flew at least twice back to Helsinki following 1 local night. On-duty sleepiness was measured by the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), alertness management strategies by a diary, and sleep by a diary and activity monitor. Pilots who rated KSS ≥ 7 on each, some, or none of the flights were classified as ”regularly”, “sometimes”, and “never” sleepy, respectively. This classification was performed separately for the outbound and inbound flights. On the outbound flights, 22% of the pilots were “never”, 54% “sometimes”, and 24% “regularly” sleepy. For the inbound flights, the respective distribution was 25%, 48%, and 27%. Compared to the “regularly” sleepy group, the “never” sleepy group obtained 54 min more night sleep prior to the outbound flights. For the inbound flights, the respective difference was 1 h 23 min. Also, the “never” sleepy pilots slept 31 min more between days off than the ”regularly” sleepy pilots. The results of the in-flight alertness management strategies were mixed. The study demonstrates that pilots without recurrent on-duty sleepiness obtain more sleep than their colleagues with recurrent on-duty sleepiness. The result emphasizes the need to investigate whether the sleep of recurrently sleepy pilots can be increased and whether this increase would reduce their on-duty sleepiness.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01682365
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 25 2018 4:41PM