Integrated Safety Support
Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society
Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society

The Fatigue Insider Blog

Sweet Dreams: How is sugar ruining your sleep?

Sep 25, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

 

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if you eat garbage, you’ll sleep like garbage too.
 
A 2016 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that eating sugar before bed was associated with “lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals.” They found that participants whose diets consisted of more sugar and fat spent less time in deep sleep, a phase that is essential for cell-regeneration, recovery, and immune function.
 
They also discovered that those who ate more sugar had more trouble falling asleep, and were more likely be pulled out of deep sleep without waking up, which can leave you feeling chronically tired even if you get the right amount of hours.
 
This can also work in reverse, as individuals who are getting more high quality sleep are less likely to gravitate towards sugar and refined carbohydrates for an un-sustainable energy boost.
 
The study also linked fibre intake with deeper, more restorative sleep. They posited that a diet rich in fibre, with less sugars and simple carbohydrates and may be a useful tool to improve sleep. If you want to start sleeping more soundly, try slowly cutting back your sugar intake to see if that helps you wake up more well-rested.

 

 

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Simple yoga poses to help you get some shuteye

Sep 18, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

Yoga can be a gentle way to help you wind down at the end of the night and bring some awareness back into your body. An American national health interview survey (NHIS) found that over 55% of respondents reported improved sleep, and 85% reported reduced stress. We’ve included some of the most relaxing yoga poses to help relieve your muscles and get you ready for bed.

Child’s pose (Balasana)
Try this kneeling pose with your legs hip-width apart and your arms either by your side or stretched out in front for additional spine lengthening and shoulder relief.

 

 
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Bend forward with your hands clasped to the opposite elbow to achieve a hamstring, calve and hip stretch and provide relief to your neck and shoulders. Shake your head ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to release tension in your neck, and softly bend your knees if the hamstring stretch is too intense.

 

Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)

 This pose not only releases tension in the lower back and stretches the hamstrings, but also allows your circulation to re-adjust, taking pressure from the feet and ankles and increasing blood flow to the upper body. Try to get your legs as close to the wall as your hamstrings allow.

 
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Traditionally the final pose in a yoga class, use this pose to centre your thoughts, focus on your breathing, and allow every muscle in your body to relax.


 

 

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Sleeping pilots and the need for proactive fatigue management

Sep 11, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

The Federal Aviation Administration in the US is investigating a June incident where a helicopter pilot fell asleep mid-air. The Boston MedFlight pilot was transporting a patient from Martha’s Vineyard to a Boston Hospital for treatment.
 
MedFlight CEO Maura Hughes said in a statement that fatigue played a role, adding that they “are now working with a fatigue management consultant and a safety consultant to review our policies and procedures so that this isolated incident does not happen again.” Isolated or not, fatigue management systems can and should be in place before incidents like these occur, not just reactive in nature.
 
This comes after the recent release of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on the Australian pilot who fell asleep and overflew his King’s Island destination by 78 kilometres late last year. They found that the pilot had been awake for 24 hours before the incident and had not been able to sleep during a scheduled three-hour rest period before the flight. The report stated his level of fatigue would have affected his performance, even if he had been able to sleep during the rest period.
 
Nat Nagy, who is the ATSB's executive director of transport safety, placed emphasis on the role of both pilots and the airline operators in fatigue management. "Just as it is the pilot's responsibility to use rest periods to get adequate sleep and to remove themselves from duty if they feel fatigued, it is also incumbent on operators to implement policies and create an organisational culture where flight crew can report fatigue and remove themselves from duty in a supportive environment."
 
While in both instances no one was injured and the aircrafts sustained no damage, they signal a greater need for aviation operators to have proactive and robust fatigue management strategies, rather than waiting for an incident to occur.

 

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Fatigue and Psychosocial WHS Risks

Sep 04, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

We know that fatigue can adversely affect safety at the workplace. It reduces alertness, which may lead to errors and an increase in incidents and injuries, not to mention its long-term health risks.
 
Companies need to be more cognisant of their work health and safety (WHS) obligations following the tightening of regulations and possible consequences of neglecting responsibilities. The release of Marie Boland’s independent review of WHS laws earlier this year has brought this to the forefront, with her recommendations including tougher penalties for breaches and the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws.
 
Unsurprisingly, psychological health and safety was one of the most frequently raised issues by stakeholders during the Boland Review. This is perhaps to be expected, given that Safe Work Australia data shows that workplace psychological injuries are one of the most costly forms of workplace injury, and many business owners are uncertain about how to address psychological health in the workplace. There has been a shift in the last few years to place more emphasis on psychosocial risks and injuries in the workplace, which can include fatigue, mental health issues, harassment, and bullying.
 
Part of the strategy to address these psychosocial risks should include robust fatigue management, as we know that major long-term health risks associated with fatigue include mental health issues, namely depression and anxiety.

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