PROFESSIONAL SHIFT-WORK DRIVERS WHO ADOPT PROPHYLACTIC NAPS CAN REDUCE THE RISK OF CAR ACCIDENTS DURING NIGHT WORK

Circadian sleep propensity (process C) and sleep pressure due to prolonged wakefulness (process S) both contribute to a reduction in vigilance levels, making night shift work dangerous. This study evaluates the role of naps in preventing sleep-related accidents among shift workers. Highway car accidents that occurred to Italian shift-working police drivers were examined. A retrospective analysis of the overall number of accidents that occurred in the years 1993 to 1998 was followed by a validation analysis of a smaller cohort of accidents prospectively collected during 2003. In the retrospective analysis, the influence of process S, process C, driver characteristics and context conditions on accident risk, estimated by means of Cox hazard regression, revealed that nighttime accident risk was mainly influenced by process S levels. Consequently, an experimental mathematical model linking the hourly observed number of accidents to process S levels was designed. Its generalization to the theoretical case of drivers omitting naps showed an increase of about 38% in the accident rate. When retrospective and prospective sleep patterns were compared, no statistical difference was found. The hourly number of accidents again increased with homeostatic sleep pressure and the theoretical efficacy of napping was quantified in a 48% decrease in accidents. These results confirm that napping before working a night shift is an effective countermeasure to alertness and performance deterioration and could help reduce the number of car accidents.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Page range: pp 1295-1302.
  • Corporate Authors:

    American Academy of Sleep Medicine

    One Westbrook Corporate Center, Suite 920
    Westchester, IL  United States  60154
  • Authors:
    • Gabarino, S
    • Mascialino, Barbara
    • Penco, Maria A
    • Squarcia, Sandro
    • De Carli, F
    • Nobili, L
    • Beelke, M
    • Cuomo, Giovanni
    • Ferrillo, Franco
  • Publication Date: 2004

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 8 p.
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00989071
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2005 12:00AM