VPPPA has partnered with the experts at MindWise Innovations to present a monthly article addressing issues and questions that members might be hesitant to ask about. These columns will address your concerns about mental health, substance abuse, brain injuries, family issues, and more.
February 18, 2021
By: Lisa Desai, MindWise Innovations
Got iSleep and Safety: The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep, or lack of sleep, has a big effect on our physical and mental health. Studies have shown that sleep is connected to eating habits and weight, stress management, mood, irritability, and concentration. Restful sleep allows the body and mind to reset and recharge for the next day.
How is sleep related to safety on the job?
Reports by organizations such as the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies reports that people who experience problems sleeping or don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk for accidents on the job which include operating machinery and decision-making. A good night’s sleep helps our brain focus; when we are deprived of sleep it is harder to problem-solve and recognize warning signs which might prevent an accident.
Poor sleep can also slow our reaction times in dangerous situations. In fact, workers who are highly fatigued are 70% more likely to be involved in an accident. While many people have been working remotely during COVID, when commuting is included in accident rates the impact is dramatic. One study found that 20% of all serious car crash injuries are associated with drivers who are sleepy or fell asleep at the wheel.
Given the serious consequences of insomnia – a pattern of poor or insufficient sleep – it’s clear that finding ways to sleep better needs to be a health priority. Sleep hygiene can help.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene refers to a routine before bed which helps you wind down from the day and make a clear distinction between ‘working’ hours and ‘preparing for bed’. For effective sleep hygiene, it’s important to be as consistent as possible in your routine.
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