In our modern society, the pressures of life are ever increasing and more and more people are suffering from daytime fatigue. The alarming thing is that most people are unaware of just how much they can be affected by fatigue, and it can dramatically negatively affect one’s life… in concentration, relationships, and work performance.
Shift workers are particularly at risk of suffering from fatigue. Shift work can sometimes mean that people are expected to be awake in the night and asleep during the day. Environmental factors (like light and dark) can have significant impact on one’s circadian rhythms (or body clock), which results in poor sleep. As a matter of fact, the three major catastrophes of our time, Chernobyl in Ukraine, Bhopal in India and the Exxon Valdez oil spill in the USA, all occurred on night shift when workers had been awake for many hours.
Companies, particularly those with a large number of shift workers such as mining companies, are starting to recognise fatigue as an important workplace health and safety issue and are including sleep education as part of their risk management plans. However, although companies are starting to take more responsibility for managing fatigue, workers still share the responsibility, and should make sure that they turn up to work “fit” for work.
For the vast majority of people, just getting both more sleep and better quality sleep will dramatically improve fatigue. There are plenty of easy to do tips to help improve sleep quality and quantity including:
1. Ensure the room is very dark – light can trick your body into waking up;
2. Make sure the room is at the right temperature – you will have more chance of staying asleep if you are comfortable and not too hot or cold during the night;
3. Make your bedroom primarily a place for sleeping and not for working, paying bills or watching TV. By using your bed only for sleeping, you will train your brain and body to switch off and go into its natural, daily and healthy sleep pattern;
4. Avoid using appliances producing electro-magnetic waves i.e. TV, radio, mobile phones, heating, water beds etc. – research has shown that these electro-magnetic waves can interrupt your natural sleep cycles;
5. Invest in a mattress that will allow sleep in an anatomically neutral position - correct posture has huge benefits for your health both during sleep and in life.
For some people, however, fatigue can be as a result of an underlying medical problem. If you suspect this is you, should seek medical advice.
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss, accessed 24 May 2013
http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-performance-and-public-safety, accessed 24 May 2013
Wenatex is a family run company which started in Europe in 1964 and has been in Australia since 2002. Wenatex has a mantra that runs through everything it does — Wenatex is committed to educating people about sleep in order to positively affect their health — literally to ’transform lives through healthy sleep’.
Wenatex runs up to 80 free ‘Healthy Sleep for a Better Life’ seminars per night all over Australia educating people on the subject of healthy sleep and demonstrating its unique Sleep System technology.
Go to the Wenatex website www.wenatex.com.au for more info.
P: 07 3868 5648