Suppression of sleepiness in drivers: Combination of caffeine with a short nap


  • This work was supported by the UK Department of Transport.

  • We thank Hilarie Kemp and Geoff Maycock for their assistance with this project.


Previous research has shown that caffeine and a<15-min nap effectively and separately reduce sleepiness in drivers for I hr. In the present study, we examined in 12 sleepy individuals the treatments combined, taken during a 30-min break, prior to a longer (2 hr) continuous monotonous afternoon drive in a car simulator. Nonnap comparisons were 200 mg caffeine only and placebo. For placebo, driving incidents. Subjective and electroencephalographic measures of sleepiness all reflected a mid-afternoon peak'. This peak was significantly reduced by caffeine and eliminated by the combined treatment, which reduced incidents to 9% of placebo levels versus 34% of placebo levels for caffeine alone. Naps comprising “nonsleep dozing” were still effective.