Impaired by lack of sleep?
July 19, 2011
Are you tired? If so, you aren’t alone.
Many of us sacrifice sleep for many of the same reasons – work, family life, socializing, social media. We know sleep is important, but we don’t make it a priority.
One study measures the effects of fatigue and compared it to blood alcohol content with the following results:
- 17 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .05 (the legal limit in Canada)
- 21 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .08
- 24-25 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .10
Sleep is the solution
More sleep is the obvious answer – 7.5 to 8 hours a night, ideally. We just need to convince ourselves that sleep is a high enough priority – just like this overworked airline executive in Grounded needs to do. This 20-minute video from the US Federal Aviation Agency shows how lack of sleep affects decision-making, behaviour, and quality of life. I would not want to live like the character in this film – whose problems can be experienced by people in any industry.
“Grounded” from Michael Curtis on Vimeo.
More info on fatigue and sleep hygiene
Work schedules and fatigue from WorkSafeBC
Human factors: Fatigue from Britain’s Health and Safety Executive
Shift Work and Sleep from the U.S National Sleep Foundation
OHS Answers: Fatigue from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Fatigue from the Canada Safety Council
Fatigue, Extended Work Hours, and Safety in the Workplace from Work Safe Alberta
Factors to consider when managing fatigue from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland