Sopite Syndrome in operational flight training
Flaherty, David E.
John K. Schmidt
Robert R. Read
Buttrey, Samuel E.
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Sopite Syndrome is a poorly understood response to motion characterized by drowsiness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and mood changes. It is distinct from "regular" motion sickness or common fatigue, and may affect the performance of motor vehicle as well as aircraft operators. The potential impact Sopite Syndrome may have on military aviation is relatively unknown. Recently, research in situations relevant to aviation training and flight operations has been initiated. The present study is part of that effort. Its goal is to determine the incidence, severity, and association of Sopite Syndrome characteristics in a population of Student Naval Flight Officers (SNFOs). Seventy-eight SNFOs assigned to Training Squadrons Four and Ten located at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida completed a questionnaire designed to capture evidence/incidence of fatigue, motion sickness, drowsiness, and sleep disturbances during days when SNFOs flew versus non-flying days. The questionnaire data was coded/tabulated for entry on a spreadsheet for subsequent analysis. Descriptive and non-parametric statistical techniques were used to analyze the data set obtained. The results show sufficient evidence between the levels of symptomology and their relationships when comparing conditions that support the existence of Sopite Syndrome in operational flight training
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