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Biol Psychol. 1995 May;40(1-2):131-41.

Sleepiness of civil airline pilots during two consecutive night flights of extended duration.

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DLR-Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Linder Höhe, Cologne, Germany.


Sleepiness of civil airline pilots was studied in a two-crew cockpit during two consecutive night flights of about 10 h duration each. Sleepiness was assessed by EEG recordings and subjective ratings during hourly recurrent short experimental phases. On the second night flight, the alertness component that is related to the preceding sleep showed a modification due to reduced quality and quantity of sleep between flights. The daytime sleep during layover was not sufficient to maintain the same alertness level as observed during the initial flight. This result is in coincidence with investigations in shift workers starting a period of night shifts. It is concluded that improvements such as the introduction of a nap schedule should be considered to alleviate spontaneous sleepiness in the cockpit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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