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Quality and duration of sleep on working days and days off and the functional body state of long haul truck drivers

ISSN 2223-6775 Ukrainian journal of occupational health Vol.20, No 1, 2024

Quality and duration of sleep on working days and days off and the functional body state of long haul truck drivers

Bobko N.A., Gadayeva D.O., Antoniuk A.Yu.
State Institution «Kundiiev Institute of Occupational Health of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine», Kyiv, Ukraine

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Introduction. Sleep is a special metabolic state aimed at self-recovery the body after “day work” and assimilating the information received. Sleep quality is positively associated with the characteristics of human body functioning, while sleep duration manifests the U-shaped relationships. Lack of sleep among drivers leads to increased accidents on the roads.

The purpose of the study was to reveal correlations between the quality and duration of sleep on working days and days off, on the one hand, and parameters of the functional body state of long haul truck drivers, on the other.

Materials and methods. 87 long haul truck drivers aged 28-67 years were examined (M±m: 49.9±1.0). The quality of sleep, physical and mental workability, sociability, felt fatigue, tension, stress, and monotony were assessed on a 5-point Likert scale, personal anxiety - according to Spielberger-Khanin, duration of sleep and extreme periods during the about-2-week round trip - subjectively. Complaints about well-being were studied using the Voitenko’s questionnaire. Measurements were made: circumference of waist (WC), hip (HC), wrist, body mass, height; BPS, BPD, heart rate; the duration of breath holding while inhaling (Stange’s test), the duration of static balancing on the left leg (Uemura’s test). There were calculated: basal metabolism (according to the Muffin-Jeor formula), body mass index (BMI), WC/HC; systolic volume, minute volume of blood flow, peripheral vascular resistance, self-assessment health index (SHI), pathological index (PI). The data were processed statistically at the p<0.05 level.

Results. On average for the group, drivers rate the quality of sleep on workdays as 4.06±0.08 c.u., on days off - 4.31±0.07 c.u. The duration of sleep on workdays is 8.29±0.15 hours, on days off - 9.09±0.17 hours, the duration of night sleep - 7.94±0.15 hours and 8.48±0.15 hours, respectively. Improved sleep quality on days off is accompanied by an increase in mental (p<0.01) and physical (p<0.03) workability, sociability (p<0.05), a decrease in the felt tension (p<0.02) and the duration of extreme periods during a trip (p<0.03), increased felt happiness (p<0.01), calm, equanimity, composure (p<0.05), increased height (p<0.03), duration of static balancing (p<0.01), reduction in the number of complaints about health (p<0.01) and chronic pathology (p<0.01); on working days –an increase in the felt happiness (p<0.03) and in height (p<0.03), a decrease in the felt monotony (p<0.05), in the number of complaints about health (p<0.00001) and chronic pathology (p<0.001). Prolongation of sleep on days off is accompanied by a decrease in the felt fatigue (p<0.05) and tension (p<0.05), an increase in body mass (p<0.02), height (p<0.01), hip (p<0.02) and wrist (p<0.03) circumference, basal metabolism (p<0.01); on working days - a decrease in WC/HC (p<0.02). Prolongation of night sleep on days off is accompanied by an increase in physical workability (p<0.04), height (p<0.04), duration of breath holding (p<0.05), a decrease in BMI (p<0.05) and complaints about mopes (p<0.01); on working days – a decrease in WC/HC (p<0.03). According to the average group data, drivers manifest general pre-obesity (BMI = 28.87 ± 0.51 c.u.), the upper limit of abdominal pre-obesity, bordering on obesity (WC = 101.22 ± 1.39 cm), and a significantly increased risk of metabolic complications (WC/HC = 0.93 ± 0.01 c.u.). At fairly high levels of blood pressure (136±2 / 87±1 mm Hg) and heart rate (79±1 beats/min.), although still within the physiological norm, the efficiency of hemodynamics, on average for the group, is assessed as "below average".

Conclusions. Long haul truck drivers are “long sleepers”, that may reflect unfavorable changes in their functional body state as a consequence of unfavorable working conditions. In this, increasing the quality and duration of sleep helps to improve the driver’s workability and reduces the development of unfavorable functional body states. Improving the quality of sleep contributes to the formation of personal qualities that reduce anxiety, lengthening night sleep - weakening the qualities that increase it, which helps ensure the professional reliability of the driver. Improvement in sleep quality is accompanied by a decrease in the number of health complaints, in the development of chronic pathology and improvement in blood supply to the brain; lengthening in night sleep – by improvement in blood supply to the body. Lengthening sleep on days off is associated with the development of (pre)obesity, while prolongation of night sleep helps to reduce it and restore the height of the intervertebral discs. The quality and duration of sleep on days off is significantly (p<0.0004) more associated with the driver’s functional body state than on working days. Sleep quality - more than duration - is associated with ensuring performance, health, blood supply to the body and brain, while sleep duration is more related to anthropometric data, metabolism and the development of (pre)obesity. In general, long sleep, as well as getting enough sleep, especially during the days off, reflecting unfavorable phenomena in the body functioning, plays an undoubtedly positive role in maintaining the health and workability of truck drivers. Getting quality sleep, especially during the days off, is primarily important to restore their workability and professional reliability.

Keywords: workability, sociability, fatigue, tension, monotony, anxiety, obesity, blood supply to the body, blood supply to the brain, self-assessment of health, sleep, night sleep.


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