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

Don't go breakin' my heart!

Feb 13, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

 

A recent study has demonstrated a relationship between sleep and subclinical atherosclerosis – the early stages of hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

The study showed that those who slept for less than six hours a night were 27 per cent more likely to have subclinical atherosclerosis than those who slept for an average of seven or eight hours a night. Disturbed and fragmented sleep also increased the risk of subclinical atherosclerosis by 34 per cent. Interestingly, those who sleep more than 8 hours a night also have an increased risk.

People who sleep less than seven hours a night also have an increased risk of heart disease, and this is true regardless of other factors that influence heart health, like age, weight, smoking and exercise habits

Not sleeping enough can also increase heart-related issues such as blood pressure and obesity.

For more information on sleep and heart health, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.
 


 

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Mental health & sleep

Jan 30, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

There is a close relationship between mental health and sleep. Poor sleep can be both a symptom and a cause of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Therefore living with a mental health condition can affect the quality and quantity of sleep, which in turn can have a negative impact on your mental health.

The vicious cycle of lack of sleep leads to one being tired throughout the day, making it difficult to cope with day-to-day life. The inability to cope lowers one’s self-esteem, increasing stress and again leading to lack of sleep.

Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, are often experienced by those suffering from mental health conditions. Insomniacs sleep less overall and do not spend adequate time in the deeper parts of sleep, including REM. The REM stage of sleep is a restorative part of our sleep cycle, providing emotional and cognitive benefits. REM sleep allows us to regulate our emotions, maintain our memory capability and make good judgments. Without REM sleep, we tend to be moodier & irrational, suffer from memory lapses and are more inclined to make poor decisions. It’s easy to see how important REM sleep is, particularly for those suffering from mental health conditions.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are a type of medication that is most commonly used to combat depression and anxiety and essentially increase serotonin in the brain. A recent study on those who take SSRIs has shown that the medication is more effective on people who are early risers compared to night owls. It is believed that night owls tend to have more irregular schedules and are also exposed to less light in the morning and more in the evening, resulting in out of sync circadian rhythms. SSRIs boost how the body clock responds to light. Therefore, irregular schedules and light exposure would make SSRIs less effective. Along with seeking professional medical support and making lifestyle changes, we would suggest ensuring morning natural light exposure where possible, as well as keeping a more consistent schedule where possible.

If you are suffering from sleep disorders and mental health issues, do not hesitate to see your doctor. For more information, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.
 

 

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Is Bruxism grinding your sleep quality?

Jan 23, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding teeth and/or clenching one's jaw unconsciously. Grinding or clenching can occur both when awake or asleep. However, sleep bruxism is generally a more significant health concern.

Those with sleep bruxism may not know they’re grinding or clenching, meaning the disorder can easily be left untreated and can lead to broken or damaged teeth, headaches, jaw pain, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. The constant tensing of muscles does not allow the body to relax, ultimately affecting sleep quality.

The exact causes of bruxism are unknown, but risk factors include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
  • Regular alcohol, drug, caffeine and nicotine use.

Lifestyle modifications can help reduce symptoms and improve sleep quality for people experiencing bruxism. These include:

  • Improving sleep hygiene
  • Reducing stress through meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises
  • Avoiding hard foods and chewing gum in order to keep jaw muscles more relaxed
  • Reducing or eliminating alcohol, drugs, caffeine and nicotine

Dental devices such as occlusal guards and splits can also help prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw.

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


 

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White noise & sleep

Jan 16, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

Back before the days of digital televisions or radios, you may remember quickly turning the volume down when that awful noise came blaring through the speakers, signifying there was no signal.

So, how is it that white noise can actually help us sleep?

White noise gets its name from ‘white light’ - all frequencies of colour in combination. White noise is a mix of every audible frequency at the same amplitude. The sound of white noise we hear as humans is the sound of all the frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz.


 

White noise can mask louder or unwanted noises such as traffic, housemates or neighbours, etc. The white noise will engage your brain, however, will not stimulate or arouse the brain, allowing one to relax and sleep.

Studies have shown that people exposed to white noise slept better because white noise effectively hides “background noise” and other “peak noises”.

If you would like to try out some white noise for yourself, click here. Alternatively, for more information on white noise and sleep, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.
 

 

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Back to work blues

Jan 09, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

For many of us, the end-of-year festive season is a busy time, catching up with friends and family, indulging in over-eating and attempting to get some much needed quality sleep! However, despite possibly sleeping more than usual, holidays can still leave you feeling tired. This is especially the case during the demanding festive season.

Aspects of the festive sleep that can affect your sleep include:

Research has shown that people often experience fatigue and stress during the holidays:


Additionally, with all the changes in sleep, alcohol and nutrition, the end of holidays marks the end of pleasant and enjoyable activities that would not usually be part of the average routine day. There could definitely be a link to how we spent our holidays, to how we cope with returning to work, and how quickly the benefits of holidays fade away.

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

 

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Goodbye 2018, hello 2019!

Dec 19, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

As 2018 draws to a close I wanted to send out a personal thank you.

Along with the rest of the Integrated Safety Support team, I appreciate your ongoing interest in our work, which this year has again taken us far and wide to places including Vietnam, India, Singapore, Brazil, Columbia, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom as well as Australia & New Zealand.

As automation and other technologies change how workforces are best used and kept safe, our most sought-after offerings range from basics (e.g. online training courses) to complex strategic advice on how to manage human risks within change programs.

If there are any 2019+ priorities that you would like to talk with us about please contact me.  

 

Yours sincerely, Dr Adam Fletcher & the team from Integrated Safety Support.

 

Don't forget to contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.

 

 

 

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Sleeping under the midnight sun

Dec 12, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Humans are diurnal, meaning we are normally programmed to sleep during the night and are active during the day (unlike our koala friends). Our circadian rhythm is regulated through our optic nerves. Our bodies are signalled to stay awake when light enters our eyes and triggers communication via our optic nerves. When light wanes and we enter darkness, our brains are prompted to produce and release the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. Without darkness, our body doesn’t know when to produce/release melatonin. 

So what happens when you're exposed to constant light?

The summer solstice in Australia is fast approaching. However, unlike our clients and friends in the northern hemisphere, we don't get to experience perpetual daylight during summer! In places like Scandinavia, their summer break allows for fun and excitement after long, cold and dark winters. But being exposed to light when one should normally be experiencing a nocturnal period, can lead to sleep deprivation and other sleep-related health issues. This seems to be more of an issue for us as visitors than it is for the locals. We can definitely vouch that the lack of darkness completely threw our sense of time out the window. If it wasn’t for block-out curtains, eye masks and melatonin there is no doubt a zombie transformation would have occurred!

For those in the southern hemisphere, enjoy your summer downtime! And for our friends in the north, your time in the sun will come (in precisely 6 months!).

For more information on light and circadian rhythms, read our previous blog posts here:

Alternatively, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.

 


 


 

 

 

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