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The Fatigue Insider Blog

Is napping at work the new norm?

Sep 26, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Tired or fatigued employees can have a significant effect in the workplace, reducing productivity through personal days, reduced hours and a general decline in efficiency while working. The solution is simple, and no, it does not involve drinking copious amounts of coffee. Studies have shown napping to be quite beneficial, improving alertness and performance.

 

Workplaces around the world, such as some air traffic control organisations, have formalised a controlled napping procedure, where naps are built into a controller's daily schedule. The most beneficial nap we would recommend is one of 20-25 minutes in length, however, even a 10-minute power nap is enough to improve one's cognitive function and reaction time. 

 

It is advisable to limit your naps to less than 30 minutes, in order to minimise sleep inertia -  the period of impaired performance and grogginess experienced after waking - and allow yourself to wake up.

 

Join us in Singapore for our Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society event in March 2019 to find out more about what the current research tells us about naps. For more information on napping, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.

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Avoiding travel burnout

Sep 19, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Here at ISS, we are often on the road (or in the air) travelling to meet and work with our clients. As much as our friends and family may be jealous of our frequent travels, we all know full well that it’s not a holiday! For those who travel for work, as much as we may love it, there's is no denying that travelling can be exhausting - we're yet to hear from someone who loves unpacking and repacking!

So what do we do to keep travel burnout at bay?

  • Keep up our healthy habits - Maintaining a healthy diet & increasing our hydration is really important. We often carry protein-packed snacks and keep our fluids up by drinking 1above.
  • Use supplements and equipment to help us with jet lag - we're big on using things such as melatonin, personal humidifier masks and light therapy glasses so we can hit the ground running without jet lag hitting us too hard.
  • Exercise - We always pack our joggers! It's good to get out and get some fresh air and vitamin D. This also really helps with jet lag.
  • Attempt to become a local - Before we head to our new destination, we like to research things like a go-to coffee shop, the closest gym and best places to work from remotely. This helps to feel more at home, without having to scramble to find things once we arrive. 
  • Plan our flights - Where possible, we always try to travel the most direct route. It can be very tiring having multiple and/or long layovers.
  • Take a break - It's really important to get some downtime, especially with friends and family, to feel refreshed and ready to go.
For more information on avoiding fatigue while travelling, click on the links below to some of our previous blog posts, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.

Around the world in... 52 hours?

Melatonin - should you use it?

Beware of the dark side: using light to reduce jet lag

High & dry: keeping hydrated while flying

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Owner of a lonely heart

Sep 12, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Are you a shift worker? Or perhaps you work long or odd hours, affecting the amount of social time and sleep you get? Ironically, sleep is often seen as something that can hold us back from social activity. However, the opposite seems to actually be the case.  

A recent study from the University of California, Berkeley, has found that loneliness and social isolation may be linked to a lack of sleep. The small study of 18 young adults found the more sleep deprived someone is, the less social they become. This social withdrawal is seen by others that the sleep-deprived person wants to be left alone, reinforcing the cycle of social withdrawal. Previous studies have also shown that people who struggle with loneliness, also have trouble sleeping.

Humans are inherently social beings, and it's clear that sleep helps us reconnect with our social circles. So, make sure you get sufficient shut-eye and schedule in that coffee catch-up you've been meaning to pen into your diary!

For more information on sleep and emotions, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.
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Sneezing yourself to sleep

Sep 05, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Spring has sprung here in Australia, and as much as we are excited about the warmer weather, many of us are dreading the onset of seasonal allergies.

Common symptoms of hay fever can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Running nose
  • Blocked sinuses
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Problems breathing
  • Headaches
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Snoring

The above symptoms often cause sleep disturbances, resulting in fatigue. Over-the-counter and prescription medication such as antihistamines can reduce symptoms. However, don’t forget to check with a medical professional if it is safe to work or operate heavy machinery, as these types of medications can cause drowsiness. 

Other ways to help combat hay fever and ensure a good night's rest is to clean and update your sleep environment to include anti-allergenic pillows and mattress protectors, as well as the use of air filters.

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

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Fighting fatigue

Aug 28, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

The national defence research agency of Singapore, DSO National Laboratories (DSO) have been busy developing a driver fatigue system. The system monitors fatigue by using an eye tracker and EEG (Electroencephalography) to detect sleep spindles - the sudden bursts of oscillatory brain activity that occurs when you are sleepy. It intervenes 10 minutes before a driver falls asleep by vibrating on the zygomatic area of the head, which has a direct connection to the part of the brain that wakes one up.

The technology was developed to help keep defence personnel safe when driving long distances in training. However, it can also be applied in other 24-hour industries.  


Frederick Tey, Program Manager from the DSO National Laboratories “A lot of times we think that we can probably try and go that extra mile, but the moment you go into microsleep, that very split second, you could end up in an accident”. For more on the work from Frederick Tey, click here.

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

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Restless leg syndrome

Aug 22, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), is a disorder causing an uncontrollable urge to move the legs (and sometimes arms), usually striking while lying in bed at night or during prolonged periods of sitting. Feelings of numbness, burning, tingling, aching, itching, or tugging beneath the skin of the lower legs are symptoms often reported by those who suffer from RLS, with temporary relief coming from moving the legs. Abnormal movement of the legs is also common.

The exact cause of RLS is currently unknown. What we do know is that fatigue can aggravate the symptoms and in turn, RLS can cause sleep disturbances resulting in fatigue. Along with medication prescribed by a doctor, various treatments can often help relieve symptoms of RLS including:

  • Improving sleep quality and quantity
  • Adopting healthy eating and drinking habits
  • Practisingrelaxation techniques such as meditation
  • Maintaining an adequate intake of vitamins & minerals including magnesium & iron

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

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Are you sleep deprived at work?

Aug 15, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Getting less sleep than your body requires seems to be the norm in this day and age, particularly due to the excessive social and work demands of daily life, combined with poor sleeping habits. How much sleep the body needs differs from person to person. However, the effects of sleep deprivation are common across the board.

General sleepiness is quite a distinctive symptom of sleep deprivation, yet the effects of being sleep deprived are much more serious as they can compromise one's abilities and performance, leading to errors while travelling to and from work, as well as at work. This, in turn, increases the risk of incidents and accidents. The effects of sleep deprivation include, but are not limited to:

  • Decreased mood & increased irritability
  • Decreased standard of communications
  • Decreased speed & accuracy
  • Problems with memory & judgment
  • Decreased physical strength
  • Excessive sleepiness, resulting in micro-sleeps

For more information on sleep deprivation, or conducting sleep studies in the workplace, contact us via Facebook , LinkedIn , Twitter or comment below.

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