The Fatigue Insider Blog

Beware of the Dark Side: Using light to reduce jet lag

Sep 22, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

At ISS, we’re frequently travelling overseas to work with clients, and it’s safe to say we’re self-proclaimed nerds when it comes to avoiding jet lag.

On the top of our must-do list for avoiding jet lag is using light, especially when crossing more than five time zones (or through hyperspace).

In practical terms, when travelling west, get bright light for an hour or more starting from when you would normally go to sleep. This aims to delay your sleep and (hopefully) allow you to sleep in and wake up closer to your new time zones social schedule.

When travelling east, you would ideally get up earlier than normal and expose yourself to bright light for an hour or more in the few days leading up to your travel. Also turn your lights and devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets) off early, at least two hours before the time you want to fall asleep. This aims to kick your sleep time and wake up time earlier, more aligned with the social cues further east of you.

If you don’t mind looking nerdy like us, we recommend the intergalactic-looking Re-timer LED glasses. If you want to avoid light at certain times during your travel, search online for blue blocking sunglasses or use an eye mask.

For more information on the use of light, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.


High & dry: Keeping hydrated while flying

Sep 15, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

Have you ever taken off on a quick getaway intending to come home relaxed, only to get home feeling exhausted?

Air travel can significantly contribute to fatigue, due to dehydration (and also jet lag when relevant). Despite the latest generation of aircraft allowing for improvements in cabin humidity, flying at cruising altitude (e.g. 38,000 feet) can still be drier than the Sahara Desert.

So how do we increase hydration while flying? Drinking water is the obvious answer, but at ISS we like to up the ante!

When it comes to drinking and flying, we tend to keep the alcohol consumption low due to its diuretic effect (meaning it actively dehydrates you). We’re also big fans of the 1Above drinks and effervescent tablets, which includes the active ingredient Pycnogenol®.

For those of you not afraid of sporting a Darth Vader look, check out the Humidiflyer mask, designed to recycle moisture in your breath to increase overall hydration. Even Australian actor and model Phoebe Tonkin thinks it's cool!

Source: Instagram


For more information on travel fatigue and hydration, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.


Sun, Sand, Sea... And Vitamin D!

Sep 08, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

This year, some of us at ISS have been fortunate enough to be working with clients in Europe, “forcing” us to soak up the rays of European summer!

Although technically a hormone and not a vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight exposure. Dr Stasha Gominak, a neurologist at the East Texas Medical Center has found that most of her patients had improvement in sleep, but only when vitamin D3 blood levels were between 60-80 ng/ml (which is 2-3 times higher than most official recommended levels).

In order for the majority of people to reach stable levels of vitamin D in this range, daily use of a supplement is required. To absorb vitamin D3 research has shown vitamin K2 is also needed, and are often found together in supplements.

For more information on vitamin D and sleep, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.



Fatigue Insider Seminar 2017

Sep 06, 2017 ISS Comments (0)


In the last two weeks we’ve received a series of requests for more information about our Fatigue Insider Seminar, which is taking place in Melbourne on the 30th of October. So, we decided to put this short (3-minute) video together:

For more information about the Seminar, including the agenda and speakers' biographies, please see the event brochure here. Click here to download the brochure.

And don't miss the early-bird registration rate, which closes on the 15th September! To purchase tickets, click here.

Additionally, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.


Tour de Fatigue

Jul 24, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

The Tour de France has finally come to an end, with the last few weeks being long and arduous for riders and fans alike. Unfortunately, this stage race has been plagued with doping issues, almost since its inception in 1903. Blood doping specifically, is an illicit process of increasing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream to enhance athletic performance, reducing fatigue and recovery time. During an event like the Tour de France, this reduction is utmost important to a cyclist.

Authorities have cracked down on doping, significantly increasing the focus on managing personal fatigue. Cyclists have to work with their physiology and manage their fatigue to see performance improvements. Cyclists are now on average competing in fewer races a year, but are also using apps and programs to assist in fatigue management throughout training and racing.

Restwise is an app used by cyclists, which gives you a total recovery score based on numerous factors including resting heart rate, body mass, sleep, appetite, muscle soreness and the previous day’s performance. Programs such as TrainingPeaks look at intensity, duration and frequency of a session and gives you a score within a performance management chart that informs a rider if they are likely to be recovered or not.

For more information, grab yourself a copy of James Witts’ ‘The Science of the Tour de France: Training secrets of the world’s best cyclists’ or contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.



The world's largest sleep study needs you!

Jun 28, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

Dr Adrian Owen, a renowned neuroscientist from Western University in Ontario, Canada, has very recently launched the world's largest sleep-and-cognition study to help understand the effect sleep and sleep deprivation has on our brains. 

Researchers aim to better understand why the brain craves sleep and what happens to our thinking abilities when we don't sleep well or enough. There is currently little global-scale research into exactly how our brains deal with these sleep deficits.

Study participants are asked to track their sleep over a 3-day period while playing a set of scientifically valid tests of brain function. Sleep values and performance data will be available for participants to view and compare with other volunteers throughout the 6-month study. 

For more information on the study, or to sign up to participate click =>here<=. 

At ISS we have recently been conducting several large studies on helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft pilots around the world. Specifically, we have been collecting objective sleep and performance data, as well as self-reported sleep and fatigue data. If you would like more information about the types of data we can collect contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.

Is night shift affecting your weight?

May 10, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

Pizza, chocolates, chips. Sound familiar? Having worked lots of night shifts ourselves, we understand the peril of trying to stay awake when our bodies are telling us that we're meant to be asleep. Snacking to stay alert and awake is quite common amongst night shift workers, however, what and when we eat can prove to be detrimental to our health.

A study led by Dr Kenneth Wright from the University of Colorado showed that those who are awake at night may have decreased insulin sensitivity, resulting in a lot more insulin being released to keep their blood sugar levels normal. This was because the body, naturally determining it is meant to be asleep, is not prepared for food intake during the night. Additionally, sleeping during the day burns fewer calories than at night, increasing the risk of developing health issues such as obesity and diabetes.

The findings of the study also suggest that "increased food intake during periods of insufficient sleep is a physiological adaptation to provide the energy needed to sustain additional wakefulness; yet when food is easily accessible, intake surpasses that need".

Give junk food a miss on night shift and instead opt for a balance of healthy protein and complex carbs. Light meals that are low Glycaemic Index (GI) GI and low in sugar are best. For example, natural yoghurt and fresh berries, hummus and veggie sticks, boiled eggs and salad, or minestrone soup. Also, ensure you keep your hydration levels up by drinking water.

For more information, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.



Helping our sleep-deprived teens

Apr 26, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

Large amounts of homework and busy social (including social media) lives are the reason teens are night owls, right? It may add to the reason, however, biological sleep patterns shift later for both sleeping and waking during adolescence. Also, during this time, teens require about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function well at school, in sport and in life.

The majority of teens do not get enough sleep and although the reasons are complex, an increased use of the internet, as well as staying up late to complete homework would most definitely contribute to the issue. 

Recently, a college student wrote about their role as a campus tour guide, pointing out the 24-hour library and explaining that you're not a true college student "until you’ve seen the sun rise from one of the library’s windows.” There's a sense of pride or achievement amongst students when they pull an all-nighter.  

It is imperative that schools, colleges and universities discourage students from staying up all night and ensure sleep is recognised as a public health issue. Great steps have been taken by some universities around the world to install temporary nap rooms and sleep pods on campus. 

For more information on teens and sleep, visit the National Sleep Foundation here. Additionally, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.



Split shifts - who's responsible for fatigue?

Apr 20, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

It was recently reported in Australia that airport ground handling staff were concerned about their fatigue levels and the implication it could have on airport safety. Staff are reportedly sleeping in sub-optimal conditions at the airport between working split shifts.The organisation under the spotlight roster 4-hour shifts, which include early morning starts and late finishes. Due to the nature of the employees' permanent part-time contract, they are not guaranteed a predictable roster pattern. In a city like Sydney where the cost of living is extremely high, employees are staying at the airport for up to 5 hours before commencing their next shift, in order to minimise time and financial loss.

This situation raises the question - who is responsible for Fatigue Management in this safety-critical role?

To read the original news article, click here. For more information on Fatigue and Airport Safety, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.




Drive safe this long weekend

Apr 13, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

It's a long weekend in Australia this weekend and for many of us, this means jumping in the car and heading on a road trip. Being a short week, working longer days to cram a week's worth of work in is the status quo. Come the long weekend, you're exhausted but you've promised the family that you'll hit the road tonight to make the most of the short break. A coffee or two should be enough to keep you going, right?

Studies have shown that a driver who has slept for less than 5 hours has a crash risk comparable to someone drunk driving. In fact, sleeping 4 hours or less in a 24-hour period could increase your crash risk by up to 11.5 times. Despite drowsy driving being viewed as an unacceptable behaviour, the AAA Foundation in the USA found that one in three people surveyed admitted that at least once in the past month they had driven so tired that they struggled to keep their eyes open.

It's really important to get a good night's sleep before driving. If you're already driving when you begin to become drowsy, pull over for a power nap and ensure you give yourself enough time to wake up prior to setting off on the road again. 

For more information on Fatigue and Road Safety, visit the Transport Accident Commission website here. Additionally, contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn or comment below.



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"For ten years we have been working internationally with Adam and the rest of the ISS team. They have directly supported the development of Zurich’s fatigue risk profiling methods, which measurably improve safety, insurance costs and reputation for our customers."

Grant JensenZurich Chief Risk Engineering Officer, Asia Pacific


"Integrated Safety Support are an essential contributor to our global fatigue management strategy and system. They have provided invaluable content for our training courses, completed advanced statistical analysis of data they helped us collect, and much more. Projects are always delivered professionally, on time, and on budget."

Captain Simon David StewartSafety Director, Mission Critical Services Babcock International Group


"In partnership with Integrated Safety Support, Airservices have built the most globally advanced system for managing human fatigue risks in Air Traffic Control. Our data-driven approach constantly works to maintain and enhance safety, while protecting operational flexibility."

Dr Claire MarrisonManager of Strategy, Systems & Analysis Airservices


"Adam Fletcher has been an invaluable contributor to the IPIECA/IOGP industry Fatigue Management workshops in Brazil, South Africa and Australia. In addition, the ISS team have generously provided insights and experience that significantly contributed to all of our current industry publications on Fatigue Risk Management."

Artemis KostareliManager - Health IPIECA/IOGP