• Sleepiness;
  • Driving;
  • Nap break;
  • Active rest break;
  • Hazard perception


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two commonly utilized sleepiness countermeasures: a nap break and an active rest break. The effects of the countermeasures were evaluated by physiological (EEG), subjective, and driving performance measures. Participants completed 2 h of simulated driving, followed by a 15-min nap break or a 15-min active rest break, then completed the final hour of simulated driving. The nap break reduced EEG and subjective sleepiness. The active rest break did not reduce EEG sleepiness, with sleepiness levels eventually increasing, and resulted in an immediate reduction of subjective sleepiness. No difference was found between the two breaks for the driving performance measure. The immediate reduction of subjective sleepiness after the active rest break could leave drivers with erroneous perceptions of their sleepiness, particularly with increases of physiological sleepiness after the break.