THE EFFECTS OF FATIGUE
We have defined fatigue as ‘loss of alertness, drowsy driving and falling sleep at the wheel’. It is certainly all of these things and more.
Loss of alertness; Falling asleep at the wheel; Poor Memory and Bad Mood
Fatigue Management training is vital to learn the aspects of fatigue management of one’s self.
WHAT CAUSES FATIGUE?
The main causes of fatigue are:
1. Body Clock Factors. Working when you would normally be asleep. Sleeping when you would normally be awake. This is a problem with many shift workers in factories and transport depots.
2. Sleep Factors Getting less than normal sleep due to a sick child, worry or an uncomfortable environment results in getting little or poor quality sleep.
3. Work Factors Working very long hours or an extended timeframe with little time to recover causes fatigue.
4. Health Factors Medical sleep problems such a trying to sleep with a broken leg or having a digestive tract problem that requires you to visit the toilet many times a night could be a factor. Other factors could include lifestyle issues such as excessive eating of fatty food or gluttony.
Basic Fatigue Management Training encompasses all of these aspects so that you get to understand why fatigue management is so vital.
Your body runs on a natural biological cycle of between 24 to 26 hours. This cycle is called the Circadian Rhythm (circadian means ‘about a day’). We’ll refer to this as your ‘body clock’.
Your body temperature drops during the night and you get sleepy; then it rises during the day to help you feel alert. This is a natural process.
At night your digestive system slows because you are less likely to be eating so your hormone production increases to repair your body. The hormone melatonin is the important one – it helps set your biological clock and increases at night to make you want to sleep.
Your body clock is controlled partly by light and dark and partly by what you do. If you normally work from 9 to 5, some of the things that happen to you as a result of your body clock are:
The morning light tells your body clock to make you more alert.
During the morning your body clock keeps you alert.
After lunch (siesta time) your body clock will turn your alertness down for a couple of hours.
Your body clock will make you most alert in the late afternoon and early evening.
Darkness in the evening tells your body clock to turn your alertness down again so you can get ready to sleep.
After midnight your body clock will turn your body temperature and alertness right down so that you are switched off between 1 am and 6 am. At this time all your body functions are at their lowest level.
Our Fatigue Management Course can be undertaken as an accredited training course (TLIF1007C or TLIF6307A) or can be customised for inidviduals wishing to understand fatigue management on a personal level. Either way fatigue management training is vital for people working irregular or long hours.
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