Fatigue depletes our resources, detracts from our health and can be a safety hazard at work. We offer resources with tips to establish a better sleep routine.
As your start your work shift today, are you feeling bright, alert and awake? If you are, you may be in the minority. A recent report by the National Safety Council found that 69% percent of employees – many of whom work in in safety-critical industries – are tired at work, increasing the risk of injuries and incidents on the job. The report compiles data from two surveys – one of employers and one of employees. The employee survey focuses on high-risk industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities. The studies showed that fatigue is a hidden but common safety hazard, but the risks increase in jobs where the consequences of being tired can be catastrophic. And given the nature of the work surveyed – transportation, utilities and construction – work fatigue is an issue that should concern us all.
But the National Safety Council isn’t alone in raising the alarm about fatigue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called sleep deprivation a public health crisis, saying that one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep, noting that every year, fatigue causes more than $400 billion in economic losses and 1.23 million lost days.
Tim Herrera of the New York Times has recently been discussing sleep, suggesting that getting more sleep is the simplest way to drastically improve your life. He asks if you’d take a pill if it could “measurably improve your memory, overall cognitive performance, ability to learn new information, receptivity to facial cues, mood, ability to handle problems, metabolism, risk for heart disease and immune system.” But instead of a pill, the prescription is this: go to bed a little bit earlier. His article offers a few tips, and he points to the New York Times guide How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep. It’s comprehensive and worth your time.
Here are some other good sleep resources
- For a quick tip cheat sheet, see the Mayo Clinic’s Tips to Achieve a Good Night’s Rest.
- The National Safety Council offers employers a tool for calculating the costs of fatigue in the workplace, as well as a fatigue tool kit with topical infographics, noting that, “Americans receive little education on the importance of sleep, sleep disorders and the consequences of fatigue, but you can help draw attention to this issue by sharing these infographics, fact sheets, posters and other resources.”
And from our prior blog posts:
- Improve your sleep routine to improve your work performance – an infographic that offers tips for establishing a nightly sleep routine.
- If you’re going to spend 24 years sleeping, make sure you do it right, which includes a video about the importance of adequate sleep and tips for getting a good night’s sleep.