Speaker: Dr Tracey Sletten, Senior Research Fellow, Turner Institute for Brain & Mental Health, Monash University and the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety & Productivity
The real impact of shift work and workplace fatigue
It was a packed room as we all listened with interest at the findings from a range of research that covered the health effects of shift work, factors that contribute to impairment as well as the effects of sleep inertia.
We could relate to the findings as they do not apply just to shift workers, but to many people who share some of the same characteristics in their daily life. How many of us stay up late on our computers or participate in other activities that affect our sleep? The Turner Institute's and CRC's research -via controlled laboratory tests as well as analysing real-life data -shows us the risks we are exposing ouselves to by doing this. While the natural biological rhythm varies amongst individuals, it can never truly adjust to working through the night when we really should be asleep.
It is not all "doom and gloom", though, as Tracey also presented a range of strategies for alleviating the harmful effects of shift work and fatigue.
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