As our lives get ever busier, our sleep is often the first thing to go, and we can quickly become fatigued. In fact, according to a report from the National Safety Council (NSC), nearly 7 out of 10 workers feel tired on the job – including many in the safety-sensitive industries of construction, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities.
Don’t Sacrifice Sleep
If you aren’t getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each day, consider these risks:
• When you miss out on sleep, it can affect more than just your productivity: fatigue can lead to decreases in cognitive performance, vigilance, accuracy, and judgment, among many other effects.
• Chronic sleep deprivation can cause a number of serious health risks, such as depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses.
• Losing small amounts of sleep over time can be detrimental. A person who sleeps six hours a night for two weeks performs similarly to someone who loses one full night of sleep.
• Driving while fatigued can be similar to driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving on four to five hours of sleep means you are four times more likely to crash.
• Up to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, which is a major driver of fatigue. Left untreated, sleep disorders can contribute to decreased productivity, lead to higher rates of absenteeism, and even exacerbate other health problems.
• A typical employer with 1,000 employees can expect to lose more than $1 million each year to fatigue.
• Not sure if you’re fatigued? Microsleeps and yawning are usually the only visible symptoms of fatigue, but hidden symptoms can include decreased vigilance, attention, memory, and concentration.
Caruoso et. al, 2016; Perkins et. al, 2001; Frazier et. al, 2003; Rosekind et. al, 2010; Rajaratnam et. al, 2011).
Van Dongen, H. P., Maislin, G., Mullington, J. M., & Dinges, D. F. (2003). The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation. Sleep, 26(2), 117-126. https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/ fatigue/physiology-map.
Tefft, B.C. (2016). Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, D.C.: Committee on Sleep Medicine Research Board on Health Sciences Policy. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies; The National Academies Press; 2006.
NSC Real Costs of Fatigue Calculator https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/fatigue/cost.