Thermoregulatory changes at driver sleepiness
by S. Quanten, E. De Valck, R. Cluydts, D. Berckmans
International Journal of Vehicle Design (IJVD), Vol. 42, No. 1/2, 2006

Abstract: A functional link between thermoregulation and sleep onset has long been recognised and thoroughly reported. In this work, we present results of a study in which it is evaluated whether this typical functional link still holds in situations where sleepiness is present but subjects are struggling to stay awake (e.g. driver sleepiness) and hence sleep onset (Stage 1 NREM) is not reached. Eight men and six women aged between 20 and 35 years (M=27, SD=5.5) participated in the experimental phase which consisted of 42 driver simulator experiments. During simulator driving, Core Body Temperature, proximal and distal skin temperatures, environmental temperature, ECG and EEG are recorded. These experiments revealed that increasing peripheral heat loss is also present in situations of increasing sleepiness without eventually reaching NREM sleep. These results enhance the strong link between thermoregulatory changes and the onset of sleep.

Online publication date: Sat, 08-Jul-2006

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