Publication:
AVIATION SHIFTWORK: SAFELY TRANSITIONING FROM DAY TO NIGHT FLIGHTS

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Authors
McDonough, Meghan
Subjects
circadian entrainment
Naval aviation
dim light melatonin onset
DLMO
circadian rhythm
Karolinska Sleepiness Scale
KSS
Advisors
Shattuck, Nita L.
Date of Issue
2021-09
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The study was requested by the Marine Corps Aviation community with a focus on risk mitigation strategies for aviators transitioning from day to night flights. Avoiding the use of stimulants and sedatives to aid in fatigue mitigation, the study instead used a four-hour period of continuous bright light exposure to shift the circadian rhythm. The main goals of this study were to determine if the light intervention protocol successfully shifted the circadian rhythm of our participants, how large of a phase delay shift was possible, and whether the light intervention affected the participants' perceived levels of fatigue. To reach these goals, we examined melatonin secretion levels to determine dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) over the course of three nights. Phase delay shift calculations were computed using differences in DLMO from night to night. Additionally, self-reported scores on the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) provided insight into individual perceived levels of fatigue. Results of the study show successful implementation of the light intervention method by an average phase delay shift of 1 hour 20 minutes ± 22 minutes. However, analyzing the KSS scores did not provide statistically significant results. This study can provide a baseline for future fatigue risk mitigation strategies for military aviation.
Type
Thesis
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Department
Operations Research (OR)
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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