A survey of the sleep status among military pilots

Wan-er WANG, He GAO, Li CUI, Fang-hu ZHONG, Ji-dong ZHANG, Rong LI, Xin-xin LIU, Yang WANG
2012 Medical Journal of Chinese People's Liberation Army  
Objective To investigate the sleep habit, common sleep problems, level of daytime sleepiness, and sleep quality among military pilots during nighttime before flying. Methods Random cluster sampling survey was conducted to complete the questionnaire for 1380 military pilots. Statistical analysis of data from the 1328 participants was conducted. Results The mean nighttime sleep duration of pilots was 6.99h and the mean sleep duration during a 24-h period was 8.10h. Approximately 4.10% of the
more » ... s slept less than 6h in a 24-h period. The incidence of moderate and severe snoring was 22.80%. The incidence of nocturnal awakening and/or early morning awakening and difficulty in initiating sleep ≥3 times/week among the pilots was 7.65% and 5.81%, respectively. Consequently, the incidence of nocturia was 4.03%. The mean score of the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) was 5.59±4.40. ESS scores of ≥11 were taken to represent excessive daytime sleepiness, the incidence of which was 14.99%. Further, the incidence of drowsiness during a flight was 14.20%. Among the respondents, 62.53% had changed in their normal sleep schedules and habits during the night before flying. Conclusions Pilots have diverse sleep problems and their normal sleep habits change in the night before flying, which might affect flight safety. Therefore, proper intervention for the sleep problems is recommended in pilots.
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