A new poll reveals that significant percentages of American workers are reporting to work fatigued.
The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) 2012 Sleep in America poll finds roughly one in ten Americans say they are likely to fall asleep at an inappropriate time and place, such as during a meeting or while driving.
This year, the NSF’s poll puts a special focus on transportation workers.
Among the findings:
- 26% of train operators and 23% of pilots admit that sleepiness has affected their job performance at least once a week, compared to 17% of non-transportation workers
- 20% of pilots admit they have made a serious error and 18% of train operators say they have had a near-miss due to sleepiness
- Pilots and train operators are more likely than non-transportation workers (6% compared to 1%) to say they have been involved in a car crash due to sleepiness while commuting
- 57% of train operators, 50% of pilots, 44% of truck drivers, 42% of non-transportation workers, and 29% of bus, taxi and limo drivers say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on work nights, and
- 44% of train operators, 37% of pilots, 27% of non-transportation workers, 27% of truck drivers, and 20% of bus, taxi and limo drivers say their current work schedule doesn’t allow adequate time for sleep.
The NSF has “healthy sleep advice” for workers:
- Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day
- Use bright light to help manage your body clock (more bright light in the morning and less in the evening)
- Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows
- If you can’t sleep, go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired
- Exercise regularly, but avoid vigorous workouts close to bed time, and
- If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring or stopped breathing episodes in your sleep, contact your doctor for a sleep apnea screening.