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Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society
Fatigue Management & Human Factors in our 24-hour Society

The Fatigue Insider Blog

Smart drugs: the rise of cognitive doping

Nov 13, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

 

 
More and more people are turning to pharmaceutical drugs to improve their performance at work and university, which raises a lot of questions about their efficacy and safety. How did nootropics like Modafinil go from a powerful narcolepsy drug to the centre of the conversation about doping at work and unrealistic expectations of productivity?

 

Nootropics are a broad range of drugs said to improve cognitive function, from improving memory retention to spurring creativity. The drug Modafinil keeps you awake far beyond normal limits and is said to allow you to maintain intense focus for a period of time. It was taken by helicopter pilots to stay alert as they carried US Special Forces to and from the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. It can also have serious side effects like intense headaches and anxiety, and we don’t even know the long-term safety issues for those using them as a performance enhancer rather than a narcolepsy drug.

 
In 2011, just over 650,000 people in the US had Modafinil prescriptions. By 2012, that number had risen to 1.9 million, a figure not including people obtaining it illegally. Drugs like these have become more widespread in competitive and high-stakes environments like universities and Silicon Valley, as expectations about productivity have skyrocketed. We must question the kind of working environment that incentivises taking powerful drugs in order to keep up with demands.

 

It also calls into question the efficacy of using drugs like these to get a competitive edge. Is it cheating? Some sports organisations ban the usage of drugs like Adderall for those with an ADHD diagnosis for the same reasons they ban steroids and other performance enhancers. Will employer drug tests soon screen for modafinil use? Or on the contrary, will CEOs welcome the rise of extra-sharp workers who never need sleep?


 

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Is your clock running on time?

Mar 20, 2019 ISS Comments (0)

Here at ISS, we’re often on the road seeing clients. One thing we always pack is our exercise gear. Squeezing in a daily workout is a top priority, especially if we are overseas. We feel it helps with counteracting any jet lag we may have. And now, we have research to back us up!

A recent study has found that exercise can shift our circadian rhythm, with the direction and amount of this effect depending on the time of day or night in which we exercise.

The study involved examining exercise and melatonin levels in 101 participants for up to five and a half days. It was found that exercising at 0700 or between 1300 & 1600 advanced the body clock to an earlier time, and exercising between 1900 & 2200 delayed the body clock to a later time.

So if you’re looking to help minimise your jet lag, or even get yourself back in sync after a block of shift, get those running shoes on at those specified times!

 

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


 

 

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Two sleep nerds walk into a bar...

Sep 29, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

This week, Dr Adam Fletcher spoke to Ian Dunican, Director of Sleep4Performance and Researcher at the University of Western Australia (UWA), about all things sleep for on-call and standby workers. Adam and Ian also discussed the upcoming Fatigue Insider Seminar.

There are strong parallels between those high-performance individuals across sports and military, and workers in high-risk industries, particularly in relation to sleep, nutrition and mindset.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

For more information on the Fatigue Insider Seminar or to purchase tickets click here.

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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.

 

 

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You snooze, you win!

Mar 21, 2017 ISS Comments (0)

Sports fever is upon us this month, with the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament and the Australian Football League just kicking off, amongst many other International sporting events.

Sports scientists from around the world have suggested that adrenaline, lactic acid clearance and other biochemical factors are far from the only variables affecting performance (and subsequent fatigue) amongst athletes. Many athletes have secondary jobs or other significant responsibilities, and of course, their personal lives, to factor into their routines. International sporting teams often hire sleep specialists to have one-on-ones with athletes, not only to teach them about the role of sleep in preparation and recovery, but also to review their home sleeping environments and offer simple but effective suggestions.

Football clubs including Real Madrid and Manchester City have fitted their training complexes out with specially designed bedrooms for their players and staff to sleep in prior to a game and during training events. Manchester United also have sleep pods installed at the training grounds for players to nap between training sessions.

If you are responsible for performance of a major sporting club, please contact us to find out how we could support your success. 


 

 


 

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