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Sleep Deprivation. What’s the Harm?

February 28, 2017
Risk Management

Our aspirations and expectations can create demands on our time, which cause us to sacrifice hours of sleep. In today’s society, the true price of sleep deprivation may come at a higher price than we recognize. Research has revealed that the loss of sleep and/or poor-quality of sleep can lead to costly incidents, including fatalities.

Serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke have been related to chronic sleep loss. Some other potential side effects are symptoms of depression, premature aging of the skin, weight gain and lower libido.

Sleep loss causes inattention and fatigue, resulting in consequences such as vehicular accidents and safety incidents in the workplace. Consider how much we rely on the alertness of strangers as you’re taking to the skies on your next vacation or business trip. How might the air traffic controller or pilot’s sleep deprivation affect your personal safety? Mental deficiencies (due to poor quality/lack of sleep) of doctors, nurses and other professionals that we depend upon, also present a significant risk that is difficult, if not impossible, for the recipients of their services to manage.

The average adult requires seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each day. Foods high in sugar and caffeine, as well as nicotine, should be avoided prior to bedtime. While exercise may make you feel exhausted, it actually stimulates your body and increases your heart rate, making it difficult to fall asleep right after a workout. Scheduling exercise after you sleep rather than just before is a smart choice. And, let’s not forget about catnaps. Research indicates that 15-20 minutes of quiet time during the day goes a long way in preventing fatigue.

Now, it’s time for our nap. Be back next week.

Inteli-Safety Team

Our Inteli-Safety Team consists of seasoned safety professionals, business process experts, compliance specialists and market analysts who strive to provide valuable content to keep our readers informed. Our blog content focuses on technology, safety, regulatory and compliance trends, and other current events.

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