The Relationship Between Sleep Patterns and the Experience of Simulator Sickness and Motion Sickness

Research and training applications increasingly utilize driving simulators. Simulator sickness is a driving simulator use complication. The authors focus on individual simulator sickness experience differences. Testing was conducted on healthy participants (11 men and 14 women) with a mean age of 41.36 years (21-59 year range, SD = 11.59) with valid driving licenses. Sleeping patterns, motion sickness experience, general health, and age were topics of a questionnaire set participants were asked to complete after giving written consent to participate in the study. Sleep questions involved both waking and sleeping times, as well as sleeping problems (i.e. too little sleep, difficulty staying asleep, difficulty falling asleep, daytime sleepiness). Experiencing disorientation, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, fatigue, general discomfort, and nausea were criteria for simulator sickness. All participants spent about 20 minutes driving a fixed-base driving simulator (STISIM PC-based interactive driving simulator model 100). Nine participants (simulator sickness group) declined to continue participation due to the extent of reported general eye strain, disorientation, dizziness, and severe headache. The sixteen participants (non-sickness group) who did not experience simulator sickness were compared with the simulator sickness group. The non-sickness group (36.9±2.9 years) was significantly younger than the simulator sickness group (49.2±2.2 years). The two groups showed no significant difference between number of females and males. Two in the non-sickness group reported having had motion sickness, while six in the simulator sickness group reported a history of it. While there was no correlation between age and results, the non-sickness group described themselves as heavier sleepers and reported more hours of sleep and significantly less difficulty staying asleep than the simulator sickness group. Participants who did not experience motion sickness also reported themselves as heavier sleepers, getting more hours of sleep, less difficulty staying asleep, as well as significantly later non-working day waking-up time than those who currently experienced motion sickness. Study results highlight that simulator sickness screening criteria need to include sleep patterns.


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  • Accession Number: 01051989
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 22 2007 10:34AM