Sleep, alertness and performance across a first and a second night shift in mining haul truck drivers

Saranea Ganesan, Jessica E. Manousakis, Megan D. Mulhall, Tracey L. Sletten, Andrew Tucker, Mark E. Howard, Clare Anderson, Shantha M.W. Rajaratnam

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This study examined the impact of first and second night shift work on sleep and performance in mining haul truck drivers. Sleep-wake patterns were monitored using wrist actigraphy. The Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) and a truck simulator were administered at the start and end of the first (N1) or second (N2) night shift (19:00–07:00 h). Participants were categorised into those who demonstrated a decline in performance (increase of one or more PVT lapses [reaction time >500 msec] from the start to the end of shift) or those who did not demonstrate a decline in performance (no increase in lapses) from the start to the end of shift. Total sleep time (TST) was longer in the 24 h prior to N1 (9.05 ± 1.49 h) compared to N2 (5.38 ± 1.32 h). PVT lapses and the slowest 10% of reaction times were similar at the start and end of N1, while greater impairments on these outcomes were observed at the end of N2 compared to the end of N1 (p < .05). In contrast, subjective sleepiness was equally impaired at the end of both night shifts. PVT performance (lapses and slowest 10% of reaction times) and drive violations demonstrated a similar direction of change on N1 and N2. Participants who demonstrated a decline in performance showed reduced TST in the 48 h prior to shifts compared to those who demonstrated no decline in performance across the shift. Likely due to short sleep prior, the end of N2 was associated with pronounced performance impairments on the PVT and drive violations compared to the start of the shift. The findings suggest that drive violations may be more sensitive to sleep loss compared to the other driving measures examined in this study. This study also emphasizes the need for adequate recovery sleep between night shifts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769–780
Number of pages12
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • mining
  • napping
  • night work
  • safety
  • Sleep loss
  • vigilance

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