To sleep: perchance to dream – debunking common myths

Everyone needs sleep to function properly and enjoy good overall health. In mining especially, where equipment operators must contend with long monotonous hours, noise, distraction and poor visibility, sleep is essential for maintaining focus. Yet, myths about sleep persist, such as the belief that daytime sleepiness is always caused by an insufficient number of hours in bed.

Myth: Daytime sleepiness indicates insufficient sleep hours

It’s true that people who don’t get to bed early enough are likely to suffer from daytime sleepiness. However, some people still suffer from this problem despite spending eight or more hours in bed. If this applies to you, it may be time to schedule a sleep study. It’s possible that you may be suffering narcolepsy, which causes you to fall asleep during the day. Sleep apnea is another concern. This disorder causes people to wake up dozens of times during the night without knowing it.

Myth: All insomniacs have trouble falling asleep

One definition of insomnia involves difficulty getting to sleep. However, some people with insomnia can fall asleep just fine—but they have trouble staying asleep. Insomniacs may unintentionally wake up long before their alarm, frequently wake up during the night, or simply wake up feeling unrefreshed. Insomnia is a widespread medical issue and may require attention from a doctor.

Myth: Snoring is irritating, but not harmful

For sleep partners, snoring is a nuisance that may even lead to insomnia. For the snorer, it can be harmful. Loud, persistent snoring is one possible sign of sleep apnea. If left untreated, this disorder can lead to an increased risk of other health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Hexagon provides a complete portfolio of safety solutions for vehicle and equipment operators, including HxGN MineProtect Operator Alertness System (OAS). OAS can be integrated directly into equipment, where it continually scans operators for signs of distraction and decreasing alertness and sends alerts as necessary. OAS-LV for light vehicles recently won Mining Magazine’s 2019 Safety award.


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