Fatigue is a complex state characterized by a lack of alertness and reduced mental and physical performance, often accompanied by drowsiness.
The Department of Public Safety is committed to reducing collisions caused by fatigued drivers.
Fatigue Signs & Symptoms
- Poor communication
- Impaired decision making skills
- Lack of alertness
- Nodding off
- Slow reaction time
- Quick to anger
- No sense of humor
- Lack of interest
- Always tired
Factors That Cause Fatigue
- Sleep loss and/or disturbed sleep
- Disrupted biological clock
- Excessive physical activity
- Monotony or familiarity
- Quality & quantity of sleep
- Continuous hours of being awake
- Time of day/circadian effects
- Sleep disorders
- Physical fitness
Accumulating a Sleep Debt
Sleep loss is cumulative and builds a debt. Most people get to 1-1.5 hours less of sleep per night than what they need. People whose sleep was restricted four to five hours per night for one week, needed two full nights sleep to recover vigilance, performance and normal mood. How do you get out of sleep debt? Sleep!
Sleep is a vital need. One-third of our life should be spent asleep. The average person needs at least eight hours of sleep. Some people mistakenly feel they don't need a full night's sleep.
Create an Optimal Sleep Environment
- A great pillow and mattress
- Location of bedroom
- Cool room temperature
- NO light
- White Noise
- Consistent bedtime routine
- Don't go to bed hungry
- Avoid work or worry in the bedroom
- One long period of sleep
- Consistent wake up time
- Limit both caffeine and alcohol
Make up for prior loss or disturbance using 1.5 - 3 hour sleep periods. Prevent or minimize sleepiness during work especially on night shifts by using 20-30 minute naps or "siesta sleep".
- 19 hours without sleep is comparable to a BAC of .05%
- 24 hours without sleep is comparable to a BAC of .10%