• John Larrimer

Can Sleep Deprivation in the Workplace Cause Safety Issues?

Are you getting enough sleep at night? If not, your lack of or poor quality of sleep can expose you to workplace accidents. Statistics gathered by several organizations back this claim. The National Sleep Foundation claims 20 percent of pilots and train operators reported near-misses caused by lack of sleep. The risk is just as dangerous for other jobs. Another study published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine claims lack of sleep increases the risk of musculoskeletal pain among health care workers. Both studies show that sleep deprivation in the workplace is a serious safety issue.

Sleep deprivation causes problems with attention span, performance, reaction time, working memory and judgement.

How Can Workers Avoid Sleep Deprivation?

If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, The Mayo Clinic has several methods that might help.

  1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol: Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can make it more difficult to fall asleep. They can also lead to frequent bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. Alcohol may cause initial drowsiness, but it interferes with rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep.

  2. Enjoy relaxing activities before bed: Reading a book with the light dimmed, meditation and listening to relaxing music can help you fall asleep. Stimulating activities, such as watching television or playing video games can do the opposite.

  3. Be wary of daytime napping: If you sleep in the break room or your vehicle during lunch breaks, it can mess up your internal clock and make it more difficult to fall asleep at night.

  4. Limit stress: Stress can raise your blood pressure and make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Remember, the quality of sleep can be directly tied to how safe you are at work. If your occupation involves driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery, this is especially true.

The Ohio workers’ comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC, can help injured workers and their families.


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