FATIGUE – IT’S MORE THAN JUST BEING TIRED
We often make light of how little sleep we get on a regular basis. The over-worked / over-tired condition has unfortunately become the norm for many of us. Those employees who work shift-work are particularly susceptible. The affects of fatigue can have an adverse impact on all areas of our lives. Please do what you can to ensure you are getting the proper amount of rest each day.
Please see the FREAS SharePoint page under Safety for more information on this topic.
Extended Safety Message:
- It is estimated that more than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived.
- Those most at risk work the night shift, long shifts or irregular shifts.
- 62% of night shift workers complain about sleep loss.
- Employees on rotating shifts are particularly vulnerable because they cannot adapt their “body clocks” to an alternative sleep pattern.
- Safety performance decreases as employees become more tired.
- You are three times more likely to be in an auto accident if you are fatigued.
- More than 5,000 people die in drowsy-driving related crashes every year.
- Losing even two hours of sleep can be equivalent to the effect of having three drinks.
- Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but 30% report averaging less than six hours, according to the National Health Interview Survey.
- Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
- More than 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder.
- Americans receive little education on the importance of sleep, sleep disorders and the consequences of fatigue.
- Feelings of fatigue are somewhat subjective, and signs of fatigue are not always easy to identify.
- Get enough sleep and give yourself enough time for adequate rest between physically or cognitively demanding activities.
- If you suffer from sleep deprivation, talk to your doctor about getting screened for sleeping disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea.
- Eat a nutritional diet and avoid junk food and excessive caffeine products.
- When possible, exercise regularly which can help to induce a better sleep cycle.
- Stress at work or home can compound the physical affects of lack of sleep. Seek professional help if you are having difficulties dealing with high stress conditions.
- Manage your workload and set priorities for tasks to help reduce stress.
- Align your natural body clock with your work schedule; some people who regularly fly through different time zones, for example, use melatonin to reset their circadian rhythms.
- If you work the night shift, try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule even on your days off, and be sure to use blackout curtains to keep your bedroom dark.