Across heavy industry, awareness of fatigue risk is growing. In industries such as mining, oil & gas, and construction, worker fatigue regularly causes safety incidents. However, even when fatigue-related incidents don’t occur, fatigue poses significant challenges to worker productivity and unscheduled downtime.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone holding a COO position at Facebook and ranked among the most powerful and influential business leaders would admit to many regrets in the building of their career, but Sheryl Sandberg has one thing she would go back and change – the amount of sleep she got. In her widely popular book ‘Lean In‘ (currently in it’s 24th week on the NY Times bestseller list), Sheryl addresses the need for people to feel like they can do it all and the “new normal” in the American workplace – including longer working hours and technology that makes it difficult for us to turn off work and go to sleep. Feeling like there were never enough hours in the day to juggle work and family, she dealt with the demands “by skimping on sleep” and admits that it was “a common but often counterproductive approach… Sleep deprivation just makes people anxious, irritable and confused.”
Sheryl backs up her statements on work and sleep with a number of studies and resources, including the Harvard Business Review’s publication on ‘Sleep Deficit”, which equates mental impairment by sleep deprivation from four or five hours of sleep a night with that of a legally impaired blood alcohol level.
“If I could go back and change one thing about how I lived in those early years,” Sheryl says, “I would force myself to get more sleep.”
Hindsight is always 20/20, but the understanding that a good night’s sleep can actually help, not hinder your career doesn’t have to be.
We often hear of tales of the “Sleepless Elite” who forgo sufficient sleep in order to get ahead. Prominent leaders and business CEO’s such as Marissa Myer, Donald Trump and Condolezza Rice all claim the key to their success has been by getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night. However, the influence of these sleepless elite are having a serious effect on the younger members of our society. A recent post by our CEO, Sean Kerklann, highlighted how unpaid interns are feeling the pressure to work extremely long hours in order to get ahead – in two instances these internships have lead to deaths.
The truth is, lack of sufficient sleep can affect not only your productivity but it can also increase your accident risk and can lead to health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Here at Fatigue Science we regularly see how fatiguing our 24/7 society is and how it is effecting workplace safety, performance and productivity.
We recently found this infographic from AirMattress.com detailing on why getting enough sleep is the key to getting ahead.
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