For people who drive or operate machines for a living, fatigue is the enemy. It puts operators and those around them at risk. However, many people who are working while fatigued don’t even realize that they are affected.
According to NIOSH, employee fatigue contributes to at least 20% of all workplace incidents and costs employers at least $135 billion per year.
Fatigue monitoring systems and collision avoidance systems that are integrated into vehicles can dramatically reduce the risk of fatigue-related accidents (by up to 85%, according to studies) by alerting drivers and other people who are monitoring the systems that they are showing signs of slow reactions.
Fatigue is becoming a bigger problem than ever in the work place, but why is everyone so tired? There are multiple reasons excessive fatigue has become so common.
Sleep apnea is a common condition and the majority of sufferers don’t that know that they have it. Sleep apnea can cause a person to wake up hundreds of times per night to gasp for air after throat muscles compress their airway. Each of these apnea episodes can happen so quickly that the person experiencing them doesn’t know that they are occurring, but they will feel increasing levels of fatigue each day. Being diagnosed with sleep apnea and getting appropriate treatment can drastically reduce the amount of fatigue that sufferers experience.
Some people experience excessive fatigue because of their lifestyles. Drug and alcohol use can easily disrupt sleep cycles and lead to chronic levels of fatigue. Poor sleep hygiene, such as sleeping with the lights on or television on, can also lead to daytime fatigue. Failing to get enough exercise — or getting too much exercise — plus eating an unhealthy diet can also contribute to fatigue.
Some medications, such as cough medicines and antihistamines, can cause fatigue. If you think that your medication is causing daytime fatigue, talk to your doctor about adjusting the medicines you take or how you take them.