Oxford Sleep Resistance (OSLER) test

Last reviewed 01/2018

The OSLER test represents a simple alternative to the maintenance of wakefulness test

Test procedure

  • Oxford Sleep Resistance Test (OSLER test) consists of 40 minute sleep-resistance challenges conducted in a dark room isolated from external noise
    • subject is lying in a semirecumbent position, and is asked to remain awake without using specific strategies
      • the test is designed to assess ability to maintain wakefulness
      • by hitting a button placed on a box directly connected to a personal computer, the subject is instructed to respond to a visual stimulus (light-emitting diode flash) which appeared for 1 second every 3 seconds
      • a total of 800 stimulations per test is emitted
      • tests may be recorded to verify that the subjects were following instructions
    • the OSLER test drill is repeated at two hourly intervals. There is evidence that three repeats are effective in assessing sleep resistance as four repeats