Fight Fatigue

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.

References:

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.

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