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

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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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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Ground Control to Sleepy Tom

Aug 08, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

A 180-day trip to Mars is a tiring feat in itself, but the distance and duration of the journey alone aren’t the only challenges that scientists are currently investigating. Think of all the food, water and entertainment required for the crew during that time – if this could be reduced, we could be one step closer to Mars.

The answer? Putting the crew into a state of torpor. Torpor is essentially a state of deep sleep, quite like a human form of hibernation, where the body’s core temperature is reduced (not frozen).

Scientists are working on achieving a successful state of torpor by extending the current and evolving medical practice of Therapeutic Hypothermia (TH). TH is currently used for the treatment of various traumatic injuries by lowering a patient's body temperature by 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes their metabolism to reduce significantly and the body to enter an unconscious state.

Currently, TH can be maintained for a maximum period of 14 days, but scientist are now investigating the possibility of it being used for much longer periods.

Click here for more information on Torpor, or alternatively contact us via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or comment below

 

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A water cooler conversation

Jun 21, 2018 ISS Comments (0)

Every day deserves to be a day of recognition, celebration and/or awareness of worthy causes. Today, the 21st of June 2018, we get to know our fearless leader, Dr Adam Fletcher, a little more - over an espresso or two (or red wine) - with questions relating to today’s international recognition days and their link with fatigue and sleep.

 

International Yoga Day

What role do you believe Yoga has in Fatigue Management?

“I can only speak from my personal experience on that question. I have been practicing yoga on a weekly basis for about 7 years, and it has definitely helped me manage stress in my body and mind as well as improve my sleep.”

What relaxation techniques can be used for sleep, fatigue, etc?

“There is a large and growing set of scientific/medical research papers on this question. Some relations techniques require more discipline, and some are quite simple, which is what I personally lean towards. When I am trying to sleep, I simply focus on my breath, and don’t force anything but just let the breath happen.”

World Music Day, also known as Make Music Day

What music do you like to listen to when you are winding down?

“The only time I really listen to calming, classical music is when I am about to sleep; mainly just on a digital classical radio station.”

What music do you listen to, to keep yourself awake?

“Having looked at a variety of research on this topic I am not convinced that music can help a person stay awake for any sustained period. However, I do have different music choices for different types of tasks. Sometimes heavy rock for getting a report done, dance music for processing data and doing analyses and Jazz for reflectively working on strategic questions.”

 

Winter solstice

What are the long-term effects of less natural light exposure, and the reverse?

“That’s a very difficult question to answer, and maybe impossible. That’s because there are so many effects of light (or lack of it). Without being too wordy, I’d say having a healthy sleep pattern depends on light but many other systems also depend on the downstream effects of light, such as getting Vitamin D and the many benefits that can have on health.”

What are your tips in getting the right amount of natural light exposure during the winter months?

“For healthier circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, the ideal is to get a similar amount of light each day (the brighter the better), although that is impractical for many of us. Unfortunately, many places in the world are not conducive to Vitamin D production for many months of the year, so oral supplementation is necessary”.

 

If you have questions for Adam, or suggestions for future posts please let us know via email at info@integratedsafety.com.au or leave a comment below.

 

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