Professional drivers are well aware of their responsibilities regarding Fatigue Management. You know your obligations of adequate rest and recording your hours on your driving diary. But did you know that it’s not only your ability to drive that suffers if you are tired, but many other things are affected as well?
According to WebMD, sleep deprivation contributes to many disorders, amongst them being:
- Concentration, alertness, problem solving impairment;
- Heart disease, heart attack or failure, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes;
- Reduced libido or sex drive;
- Increased likelihood of depression;
- Premature skin aging;
- Weight gain;
- Increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease;
- Judgment impairment.
All of us over our lifetime would have suffered from “general fatigue” blaming diet or other issues, but studies show our lives could be greatly improved by simply getting more sleep and better quality sleep.
The Victorian Government (betterhealth) provide further information on the effects of insufficient sleep and great tips to get better sleep outcomes. Even if your body has “gotten used” to having 5 to 6 hours rather than 8 hours, the facts show that you will still be more impaired in your decision making, mental alertness and other factors mentioned above.
Suggested tips for getting more sleep include: go to bed earlier, (has anyone noticed that TV programs – especially movies – finish much later due to more advertisements on free-to-air-TV), don’t smoke or consume alcohol or caffeinated drinks in the hours before bed, don’t have distractions in the bedroom such as a TV or computer and seek professional advice for sleep disorders such as snoring.
So the facts are there, work better, play better, and live better by ensuring you get sufficient sleep. All the more important if you are a shift worker or work at nights like many of our interstate truck drivers.
Stay Safe and sleep better