A1 Journal article (refereed)
Accumulation of sleep loss among shift-working truck drivers (2021)

Onninen, J., Pylkkönen, M., Tolvanen, A., & Sallinen, M. (2021). Accumulation of sleep loss among shift-working truck drivers. Chronobiology International, 38(9), 1344-1353. https://doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2021.1929280

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Onninen, Jussi; Pylkkönen, Mia; Tolvanen, Asko; Sallinen, Mikael

Journal or series: Chronobiology International

ISSN: 0742-0528

eISSN: 1525-6073

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 24/05/2021

Volume: 38

Issue number: 9

Pages range: 1344-1353

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2021.1929280

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77864


Sleep loss is known to contribute to road traffic accidents. Professional drivers are vulnerable to curtailment of sleep due to long driving bouts and shift work. To fill in the gap in the literature related to the buildup of sleep loss in irregular shift systems, we recorded the sleep and working hours of 47 shift-working long-haul truck drivers during a two-week period. Sleep (time in bed) was verified by actigraphy and sleep logs. Sleepiness was measured using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). Individual sleep need was based on self-assessments. We examined the accumulated sleep versus self-reported sleep need across the study period, using midnights as points of observation, and the accumulated sleep loss within 72 h prior to shift end (sleep versus need, SVN72). Across the study period, the drivers’ sleep was close to their self-reported sleep need, but 45% of the drivers showed accumulated sleep loss of >6 h at least once. SVN72 averaged −1.5 h and was 2.87 h shorter in connection with morning shifts compared to day or evening shifts. Night shifts showed no such difference. During days off, sleep exceeded sleep need by 1.13 h and was not dependent on the type of preceding work shift. SVN72 showed small-to-medium negative associations with on-duty KSS even after accounting for sleep within the 24 h prior to the shift end. Our results show that long-haul truck drivers are exposed to severe levels of accumulated sleep loss while working irregular shifts, but they can catch up on their lost sleep, especially during days off.

Keywords: trailer lorry drivers; shift work; recovery (return); sleep debt

Free keywords: Long-haul truck drivers; cumulative sleep loss; sleepiness; sleep need

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:34