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Original research
Sleep duration and sleep efficiency in UK long-distance heavy goods vehicle drivers


Objectives 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% men) 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 hour/24 hours and <7 hour/24 hours) and inadequate sleep efficiency (<85%) were calculated. Demographic, occupational and lifestyle data were collected via questionnaires 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 hour/24 hours, 91% demonstrated <7-hour sleep/24 hours and 72% achieved <85% sleep efficiency. Sleeping <6 hour/24 hours was less likely in morning (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.94) and afternoon (OR 0.24, CI 0.10 to 0.60) shift workers (vs night) and if never smoked (vs current smokers) (OR 0.45, CI –0.22 to 0.92). The likelihood of sleeping <7 hour/24 hours reduced with age (OR 0.92, CI 0.87 to 0.98). The likelihood of presenting inadequate sleep efficiency reduced with age (OR 0.96, CI 0.93 to 0.99) and overweight body mass index category (vs obese) (OR 0.47, CI 0.27 to 0.82).

Conclusions The high prevalence of short sleep duration and insufficient sleep quality (efficiency) rate suggest that 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.

  • sleep
  • occupational health
  • public health
  • preventive medicine
  • accidents

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Anonymised participants data were collected in a protected database and are available on reasonable request from AS (

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