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Sleep, Health and SocietyFrom Aetiology to Public Health$
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Francesco P. Cappuccio, Michelle A. Miller, and Steven W. Lockley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566594

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566594.001.0001

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Sleepiness, alertness, and performance

Sleepiness, alertness, and performance

(p.355) Chapter 16 Sleepiness, alertness, and performance
Sleep, Health and Society

T. Åkerstedt

Oxford University Press

Sleepiness is subjective, physiological, and behavioural. This may lead to a certain amount of confusion in discussions of prevalence, mechanism, and societal implications. It has a considerable prevalence in the population, is very sensitive to manipulations of the sleep/wake pattern, as well as to various types of sleep disturbances, and to exposure to monotony. At high levels, its effects are powerful and make it responsible for many types of accidents and performance impairment. In spite of this it is remarkably disregarded in society. There is clearly a great need for information as well as a need for reliable and simple ways of measuring sleepiness. Recent developments include technological devices to monitor sleepiness and alertness. Thus far, however, their validity has not been well documented.

Keywords:   sleepiness, alertness, performance, measurement, sleep/wake pattern, latency test, shift-work

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