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Edward Morgan

Ergonomics (Human Factors Design)

Edward Morgan

Daytime sleepiness is a natural and everyday occurrence for many people, that can have serious negative consequences if during safety critical tasks: such as driving.

Daytime sleepiness is a common and everyday occurrence: and yet can be exacerbated by issues as simple as poor night sleep or the wrong time of day. Sleepiness has been found to be responsible for 16-20% of all road accidents, giving context to areal world danger. Although, there are proven countermeasures such is caffeine and napping: not everybody likes a coffee and sleeping at the side of the road is rarely peoples preferred option. Interestingly a large amount of drivers, around 32%, have stated to of used a sugary snack as a sleepiness countermeasure. However the effectiveness of this as a countermeasure is surprisingly non-existent. This joint study between myself and a PHD student partner investigated just that: through the use of a full-size driving simulator to compare aspects of same-participants drives that occur across three conditions: Alert, Sleep Restricted with No Substance and Sleep Restricted with a Sugary Snack. Sleepiness was was measured by a range of variables including: simulator output, reaction time (PVT), physiological sleepiness (EEG) and subjective sleepiness (KSS).

The opportunity to use a full scale simulator, investigate an issue that has potential to uncover a real world (everyday) danger and the opportunity to work with a PHD student in order to add a level of complexity to a final year study, all immediately made me gravitate toward joint creation of this study. Unfortunately, one of the lesser casualties of a global pandemic meant that participation was cancelled before its completion. However, the study provided opportunity to expand my skills in different unexpected areas: the collaborative creation of a study, simulator programming, the importance of piloting, first-hand data collection with participants, application of EEG electrodes and advanced skills in data analysis.


An investigation into the effectiveness of a sugary snack as a countermeasure to sleepiness after sleep restriction on simulated driving:

Final year project

Sugar, sleepiness & simulated driving: