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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 84-87

Excessive sleepiness, sleep hygiene, and coping strategies among night bus drivers: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Respiratory Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Uma Maheswari Krishnaswamy
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, 3rd Floor, Oncology Block, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, John Nagara, Bangalore - 560 034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.197526

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Background: Sleep disruption and excessive sleepiness are the known consequences of shift work. The recent spate of night-time road and air accidents, with some being directly attributed to driver sleepiness prompted us to undertake this study. Aims: To screen for excessive sleepiness, coping practices, and post-shift sleep hygiene in night bus drivers. Settings and Design: This prospective study was carried out on night bus drivers of a public transport organization in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Materials and Methods: Bus drivers driving for ≥8 h at night were screened with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and a prevalidated shift work questionnaire. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the compiled data using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Results: One hundred and eighty bus drivers aged 22-63 years were screened. Excessive Sleepiness: Although only 2 (1.1%) drivers scored above the cutoff on ESS, 10 (5.6%) and 103 (57.2%) drivers admitted to feeling sleepy during daytime and night driving respectively. None of the drivers admitted to causing accidents related to sleepiness. The coping strategies for nocturnal sleepiness included consuming coffee/tea (16.7%), chewing tobacco (12.8%), smoking (6.1%), and walking (3.9%). Post-Shift Sleep Practices: Post-shift sleep duration ranged between 1 h and 10 h. Twenty-six (14.4%) and 16 (8.9%) drivers had difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep, respectively, while 9 (5%) reported frequent awakening during daytime sleep. Conclusion and Implications: This study has demonstrated a high incidence of nocturnal sleepiness and daytime sleep disruption among night bus drivers, thus necessitating the need for education about shift work and alertness testing among shift workers in critical professions.


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