The importance of adequate sleep cannot be overstated. Sleep has many effects on a variety of aspects of our health. The way you feel awake has a link to what kind of sleep you get at night. Poor sleeping habits can lead to an acute sudden incident such as a car crash due to a tired driver or chronic problems over the long term such as a number of health issues.

Research has shown that Canada is the third most sleep-deprived country. This causes many issues in the workplace and at home while completing tasks. Statistics Canada estimates that about 20% of fatal collisions involve driver fatigue. One survey found that about 60% of Canadians occasionally drive while drowsy and 15% have fallen asleep while driving in the past year. The CAA says drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving following AAA study.

Studies have also shown that sleep deprivation can significantly reduce workers’ reaction time, motor control, decision-making ability and situational awareness. This creates an unsafe condition where a worker, or a whole job site, is exposed to a potential incident that could cause injury.

Importance of Sleep showing a sleeping driver

Sleep and Your Health

It affects your ability to learn and remember new information, your ability to pay attention and your heart and cardiovascular system. There is a link between long-term sleep deficiencies and heart disease. It can also affect how your body reacts to insulin. Sleep deficiency leads to higher blood sugar levels; leaving you at a higher chance to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Tips to be Well Rested

  • Get at least seven hours of sleep. Studies vary on exactly how much each person needs, but the consensus is between six and eight hours.
  • Shut your TV off and place your phone face down. Blue light and other light sources can disrupt your sleep.
  • Avoid naps during the day. Naps can throw off your internal clock for rest at night. If napping is a must during the day keep it under 20 minutes.
  • Keep your room between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the range that is best for sleeping conditions for most people.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night. This keeps your internal clock on track and your body gets into a routine.
Sleep time information by age group

Discussion points

  1. Do you feel that you get much rest every night?
  2. Have you ever experienced a time where you did not remember driving down the road? How could a situation like that affect our work if it were to happen?