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Percept Mot Skills. 2003 Feb;96(1):67-78.

Effects of slow-release caffeine and a nap on driving simulator performance after partial sleep deprivation.

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Department of Psychology, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.


A driving simulator was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a 30-min. nap and 300-mg slow-release caffeine as countermeasures to drivers' sleepiness induced by partial sleep deprivation. 12 participants were allowed 45 hr. time in bed at the laboratory. Driving performance then was measured twice--at 9 a.m. and at 1 p.m.--by a 45-min. driving task on a simulator. Subjective sleepiness/alertness and mood were assessed four times on the Stanford Sleepiness Scale and the Profile of Mood States. Driving performance was assessed as Lane Drifting, Speed Deviation, and Accident Liability. A 30-min. nap opportunity and 300 mg of slow-release caffeine both were successful in counteracting drivers' sleepiness. The remedial effect of slow-release caffeine lasted longer than that of the nap, that is, it was also effective in the afternoon session. This suggests that slow-release caffeine represents a valuable countermeasure that, in the case of partial sleep deprivation, is preferred to a nap when sleepiness has to be counteracted for a longer time.

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