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Sleep duration and sleep efficiency in long distance heavy goods vehicle drivers

journal contribution
posted on 21.07.2021, 11:05 by Aron Sherry, Stacy Clemes, Yu-Ling Chen, Charlotte Edwardson, Laura Gray, Amber Guest, James King, Alex Rowlands, Katharina Ruettger, Mohsen Sayyah, Veronica Varela-Mato, Iuliana Hartescu
Objective To profile sleep duration and sleep efficiency in UK long-distance heavy goods vehicle (HGV)drivers and explore demographic, occupational and lifestyle predictors of sleep. Methods Cross-sectional analyses were carried out on 329 HGV drivers (98.5% males) recruited across an international logistics company within the midland’s region, UK. Sleep duration and efficiency were assessed via wrist-worn accelerometry (GENEActiv) over 8-days. Proportions of drivers with short sleep duration (<6-h/24-h and <7-h/24-h) and inadequate sleep efficiency (<85%) were calculated. Demographic, occupational and lifestyle data were collected via questionnaire and device-based measures. Logistic regression assessed predictors of short sleep duration and inadequate sleep efficiency. Results 58% of drivers had a mean sleep duration of <6-h/24-h, 91% demonstrated <7-h sleep/24-h and 72% achieved <85% sleep efficiency. Sleeping <6-h/24-h was less likely in morning (odds ratio [OR] 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.21–0.94) and afternoon (OR 0.24, CI 0.10– 0.60) shift workers (vs night) and if never smoked (vs current smokers) (OR 0.45, CI-0.22– 0.92). The likelihood of sleeping <7-h/24-h reduced with age (OR 0.92, CI 0.87–0.98). The likelihood of presenting inadequate sleep efficiency reduced with age (OR 0.96, CI 0.93–0.96) and overweight body mass index category (vs obese) (OR 0.47, CI 0.27–0.82). Conclusions The high prevalence of short sleep duration and insufficient sleep quality (efficiency) rate suggest many HGV drivers have increased risk of excessive daytime sleepiness, road traffic accidents and chronic disease. Future sleep research in UK HGV cohorts is warranted given the road safety and public health implications.


The data presented in this paper were collected as part of the ‘Structured Health Intervention For Truckers (SHIFT)’ randomised controlled trial, which is funded by the NIHR Public Health Research Programme (reference: NIHR PHR 15/190/42). The research was also supported by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Occupational and Environmental Medicine


BMJ Publishing Group


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This article has been accepted for publication in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2021 following peer review, and the Version of Record can be accessed online at [insert full DOI eg.].

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Dr James King. Deposit date: 21 July 2021