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Sleep and Time Essay

Reasons why I should not fall asleep on duty. If I was to get called to a traffic accident or a domestic dispute I would not be able to respond because I would be asleep. Therefore I would not be able to complete my duties as a military police officer. Being a military police officer I should up hold the standards and the law appointed to me by the United States army. If I was asleep during an active shooter event that may take place at a bank or maybe the commissary, possibly even the PX in Hainerburg housing I would not be able to respond accordingly do to my current state. Being a military police officer means that I will be discipline physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my officer tasks and duties. For instance if I was asleep on shift and there was a bomb threat at the generals quarters whatever patrol I am I would not be able to respond accordingly to the situation. This could lead to possibly danger for patrols that are in the area. Say I am patrol 2-1 and a bomb threat is at the general’s quarters. Mohawk would call patrol to 2-1 to the scene and along with the patrol supervisor 2-0 to handle the scene and secure the area making sure that no civilians are in the area within a hundred feet of where the possible bomb threat is.

On top of the bomb threat being in the generals quarters there is also an active shooter going on in the commissary. Then a bank heist occurs at Andrews’s federal credit union bank. People would be counting on me to be awake and to fulfill my military task and duties while patrolling the clay kasern area. Patrols 2-5 along with the patrols 2-4 would need backup and assistance at the generals quarters for the bomb threat and the bank heist at Andrews federal credit union. Patrol 2-3 and patrol 2-2 would most likely respond to the active shooter in the commissary. But if everything was handled and taken care of at the generals quarters and or Andrews federal credit union. Patrol 2-2 and patrol 2-3 needed assistance I patrol 2-1 would not be able to assist them. Being asleep during shift is no laughing matter, this is also a serious crime and you can be issued an article 15 for your actions. Another reason why not to fall asleep during shift is because if you’re asleep during shift and your battle buddy pulls up beside you to relieve you from duty he could just be a Blue Falcon, take a picture of you, and show your leadership.

Reasons behind falling asleep during shift is due to the fact of not going to bed at reasonable times and or being exhausted from recent activities the night prior. Falling asleep during shift is not the right answer. The right answer is to get out of your patrol vehicle and to stay active within the community and housing area that you may be patrolling at that time. If I was asleep on shift and there were kids play across the street and say one of them got injured or even taken from some kidnapper. Since I would be unconscious I would not be able to perform my military police duties and subdue the kidnapper using my police skills and levels of force. Let’s say that batman is real. If I was asleep during something important within the streets of Gotham, and we got a call because the joker was robbing a bank. I wouldn’t be able to assist batman or my fellow military police officers with the apprehension of the evil villain, The Joker.

All of this occurred because one day one guy thought he could do what no one else thought they could do or get away with sleeping on shift….during a crisis of up most urgency for that matter. Sleeping at work can lead to death. Possible security breaches can occured and people can be in danger. If I was walking down the street one day, Then I see a stranger, he might come up and ask me what I want to be, and I’ll tell him that I am a military police officer sworn to assist protect and defend the post and community from evil. This also ensures people that I am not a bad person because I help people. But it can all be thrown away if I fall asleep on shift and don’t do my job. According to Wikipedia Sleeping while on duty or “sleeping on the job” refers to falling asleep while on the time clock or equivalent, or else while responsible for performing some active or passive job duty. In some workplaces, this is considered gross misconduct and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment.

In other types of work, such as firefighting or live-in caregiving, sleeping at least part of the shift may be a part of the paid work time. While some employees who sleep while on duty in violation do so intentionally and hope not to get caught, others intend in good faith to stay awake, and accidentally doze. Sleeping while on duty is such an important issue that it is addressed in the employee handbook in most workplaces. Concerns that employers have may include the lack of productivity, the unprofessional appearance, and danger that may occur when the employee’s duties involve watching to prevent a hazardous situation. In some occupations, such as pilots, truck and bus drivers, or those operating heavy machinery, falling asleep while on duty could put lives in danger. The frequency of sleeping while on duty that occurs varies depending on the time of day. Daytime employees are more likely to take short naps, while graveyard shift workers have a higher likelihood of sleeping for a large portion of their shift, sometimes intentionally.

A survey by the National Sleep Foundation has found that 30% of participants have admitted to sleeping while on duty. More than 90% of Americans have experienced a problem at work because of a poor night’s sleep. One in four admit to shirking duties on the job for the same reason, either calling in sick or napping during work hours. Employers have varying views of sleeping while on duty. Some companies have instituted policies to allow employees to take napping breaks during the workday in order to improve productivity while others are strict when dealing with employees who sleep while on duty and use high-tech means, such as video surveillance, to catch their employees who may be sleeping on the job. Those who are caught in violation may face disciplinary action such as suspension or firing. Some employees sleep, nap, or take a power-nap only during their allotted break time at work. This may or may not be permitted, depending on the employer’s policies.

Some employers may prohibit sleeping, even during unpaid break time, for various reasons, such as the unprofessional appearance of a sleeping employee, the need for an employee to be available during an emergency, or legal regulations. Employees who may endanger others by sleeping on the job may face more serious consequences, such as legal sanctions. For example, airline pilots risk loss of their licenses. In war time in the United States, if a sentry falls asleep on duty, he may face the death penalty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. During the Korean War, a soldier was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for falling asleep at his post, but was freed early following a reversal by the Court of Appeals. In 1968, New York police officers admitted that sleeping while on duty was customary. February 2008 – the pilots on a go! airline flight were suspended during an investigation when it was suspected they fell asleep mid-flight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Hilo, Hawaii, resulting in their overshooting Hilo Airport by 15 miles before turning around to land safely.

Air traffic controllers in October 2007 – four Italian air traffic controllers were suspended after they were caught asleep while on duty. March 2011 – the lone night shift air traffic controller at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport fell asleep on duty. During the period he was asleep two airliners landed uneventfully. In the weeks that followed, there were other similar incidents and it was revealed that other lone air traffic controllers on duty fell asleep in the towers. This led to the resignation of United States air traffic chief Hank Krakowski and a new policy being set requiring two controllers to be on duty at all times. Bus drivers in March 2011 – a tour bus driver crashed while returning from a casino in Connecticut to New York City. Fifteen people were killed and many others injured. Though the driver, who was found to be sober, denied sleeping, a survivor who witnessed the crash reported that he was speeding and sleeping. Police officers/security guards in December 1947 – a Washington, D.C. police officer was fined $75 for sleeping while on duty. October 2007 – a CBS news story revealed nearly a dozen security guards at a nuclear power plant who were videotaped sleeping while on duty.

December 2009 – The New York Post published a photo of a prison guard sleeping next to an inmate at the Rikers Island penitentiary. The photo was allegedly captured on the cell phone camera of another guard. Both guards were disciplined for this action, the sleeping guard for sleeping and the guard who took the photo for violating a prison policy forbidding cell phones while on duty. The inmate was not identified. Other instances have occurred in March 1987 – The Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station was ordered shut down by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after four operators were found sleeping while on duty. Other cases have occurred where people have fallen asleep at work like these air traffic controllers. According to CNN Travel a NTSB air traffic controller was suspended for failing to respond to two planes heading into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport has told investigators that he had fallen asleep, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The controller, a 20-year veteran, “indicated that he had fallen asleep for a period of time while on duty,” according to a statement released Thursday by the safety board.

“He had been working his fourth consecutive overnight shift (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.).” “Human fatigue issues are one of the areas being investigated,” the statement read. Federal Aviation Administration chief Randy Babbitt said earlier Thursday that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident and that the air traffic controller has been suspended from all operational duties. An FAA official speaking on background said the controller was given a drug test after the incident. The official said the drug test was “standard procedure” and did not know the results. NTSB: Controller fell asleep and people ask how safe are air traffic control towers? The situation began at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, when an American Airlines plane attempted to call the tower to get clearance to land and got no answer, said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the safety board.

The plane had been in contact with a regional air traffic control facility, and a controller at that facility advised the pilot that he, too, had been unable to contact anyone at the tower, according to a recording of air control traffic at the website liveatc.net.”1012,” the controller said, using the airline’s flight number, “called a couple of times on landline and tried to call on the commercial line, and there’s no answer. “The tower is apparently unmanned. “Apparently asked why by a pilot, the controller later responded, “Well, I’m going to take a guess and say that the controller got locked out. I’ve heard of this happening before. Fortunately, it’s not very often,” he said. Knudson said the plane landed without incident in a situation termed an “uncontrolled airport.” About 15 minutes later, a United Airlines flight also failed to reach the tower but landed without any problems, he said. After that, the controller in the tower was back in communication. Knudson said one controller was staffing the tower at the time this occurred. The controller’s admission that he was asleep during the landing emergency underscores concerns about the effect of fatigue on under slept controllers at work.

In 2007, then-NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker wrote in a letter to the FAA that four plane incidents “provide clear and compelling evidence” that controllers are sometimes operating while fatigued because of their work schedules and poor use of rest periods. “That fatigue has contributed to controller errors,” Rosenker wrote. The incidents cited by the NTSB were: On March 23, 2006, an incident in which a Chicago air traffic controller cleared a plane to take off from a runway on which, 15 seconds earlier, he had cleared another aircraft to cross. The pilot of the departing plane stopped when he saw the other craft in the taxiway intersection. The controller told investigators he had slept only four hours during a nine-hour break between shifts. In an August 19, 2004, incident a Los Angeles controller cleared one passenger jet to take off and another to land on a runway at the same time. The pilot in the landing aircraft noticed the other on the runway and pulled his plane up 12 seconds before they would have collided. The controller said he had slept five or 6 hours before coming to work. On September 25, 2001, an incident in which a Denver air traffic controller approved a request from a cargo plane pilot to take off from a runway that had been closed for construction.

The aircraft came within 32 feet of hitting lights that had been installed in the construction zone. The controller said he’d slept only two hours between work days. On July 8, 2001, an incident in which a Denver controller cleared one passenger plane to cross a runway where another was about to land. The landing pilot hit the brakes, stopping 810 feet from the other plane. The controller said he had worked three shifts in two days. Of the most recent incident, Babbitt said, “In my 25 years as a professional airline pilot, I’ve never seen anything happen like this. “I am outraged by it,” Babbitt said. “We’re going to make sure something like this never happens again.” Babbitt stressed that, because of a backup system, neither plane was out of “positive radar contact, nor were they out of communication with the FAA, thus allowing both to land safely. “That said … this should not have happened,” Babbitt said. “We should not have had this gap in communication. We had to rely on a backup system, which shouldn’t have happened.” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood ordered the FAA on Wednesday to schedule two controllers on the overnight shift. “It is not acceptable to have just one controller in the tower managing air traffic in this critical air space.

I have also asked … Babbitt to study staffing levels at other airports around the country,” he said. Knudson said it’s not uncommon for planes to land at uncontrolled airports. He said control towers at some fields across the country shut down for the night, and planes still land. However, he could not comment on whether that practice was ever used at Reagan National. The American Airlines flight, which was coming from Miami, had 91 passengers and six crew members aboard, airline spokesman Ed Martelle said. The United Airlines flight was arriving from Chicago with 63 passengers and five crew members, spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said. American Airlines had no comment on the situation, saying it was leaving it to the FAA to handle. United Airlines noted that the National Transportation Safety Board is reviewing the incident, and McCarthy said the airline is conducting its own review. So even after all of these discussions and people’s arguments some say that they sleep because it is customary and some say it’s because of not enough sleep but the truth is, is that it’s all wrong. Falling asleep on duty as a patrol is very bad and you should not do it. It can cause a lot of trouble and for no reason. Main things people have to worry about are staying awake and staying alert and ready to complete their jobs that they have to do.

Most people don’t realize how people can fall asleep but it’s all too easy which sucks because the easier something is to do, the easier it is to do it often. I personally don’t like that I get tired but I fight it by staying active and doing things to take up time will working. I try to do walking patrols frequently and take short breaks outside my vehicle to stretch out and stop feeling cramped in my patrol car. Being asleep on duty is not a good thing because it can get you in trouble and being in trouble is never a good thing. It leads to not being trusted, not included in certain events, and no one wants to be around a trouble maker. Staying awake and focused on the tasks ahead is a great way to stay out of trouble and not asleep. Staying awake on shift is important in so many ways and for some people it’s hard to believe that it’s just that important. In Japanese culture it’s actually a good thing if you fall asleep at work because it shows people that you are just sleeping because all the hard work you have been doing. There are rules to this though. One rule is you must sit up and look engaged (despite the fact that you’re asleep).

It must appear that you could wake up at any moment and do something great. Second rule it’s easier to get away with if you’re the boss. Sleeping at work is a sign of confidence — it shows you’re indispensable to the company and can get away with it. Junior staff can also get away with it because no one notices them. If this was the case for everywhere my life would be great. But alas… it’s not so don’t sleep on shift. Sleeping on duty is just as bad as sleeping with a tiger that will eat you. If you wake up with the tiger and it’s going to eat you well you’re pretty screwed. Just like if you wake up to your leadership in front of you…. You’re pretty screwed. If life gives you lemons….. Squirt them in your eyes so you can stay awake for shift. Then think about how much better off you will be now that you’re not in trouble. Staying awake on shift is crucial to surviving through your day. If you don’t stay awake you can cause bodily harm to yourself because you will most likely be getting dusted off out back for your actions. Other ways of punishment for sleeping is writing a RBI the most spectacular punishment ever known to man.

If there can be only one man left standing between a RBI and getting corrective action the RBI will always win. Thus why you should never fall asleep during duty hours because it’s very bad. If you’re falling asleep while driving you’re definitely in the wrong and you need to pull over. Don’t try to be a hero and fight through it. Instead get out and wake up for a bit because that’s a million times better than crashing your patrol vehicle. After doing some research I’ve found out ways that can help me stay awake during work. Listen to music that’s energizing to you. If possible, dance or sing along, even if you just bob your head or hum. Music that’s irritating or jarring may keep you awake better than music that’s familiar. Just do your co-workers a favor and remember to use headphones! Listen quietly instead of loudly. It’s a common misconception that blasting music loud will help keep you awake. Actually, turning the music down to a very low level is more effective. It forces you to try to listen closely in order to hear the instruments, lyrics, and percussion. If you’re having difficulty discerning the lyrics, then the volume is just right, because this means your mind’s working.

Expose yourself to bright light, preferably, natural daylight. Your body’s internal clocks are regulated by your exposure to sunlight. This means you can trick your body into believing it should be awake even when it feels tired. Step outside, even just for a bit. If you can step outside (even on a cloudy day) or look out the window for a full minute, you’ll be more alert. Work the artificial lights. Even if you’re in an environment where there’s artificial light, brighter is better. Wherever you work, see if you can replace the light fixture or add a lamp that will brighten your workspace. Chew ice. If you chew ice, it’s almost impossible to fall asleep. The chilling temperature keeps the brain on its toes, even while you are driving late at night, exhausted, and what you really want to do is fall asleep. Chewing anything, even if it’s just your pen or pencil, causes your body to think you are about to eat. Your body will prepare for food intake by releasing insulin, which will make you more alert. Splashing cold water on your face helps out a lot. If it’s a little cold, take off your sweater or jacket so you stay on the chilly side. Open a window or put on a small fan, pointed at your face. The reason your body responds the way it does to cold is that it’s prepping itself to work to keep you warm.

Your body needs to regulate your internal temperature to keep all of its organs functioning. So if it detects ice or extreme cold, it will work to keep itself awake longer. Use your sense of smell. A pungent scent — good or bad — can make you more alert very quickly. Aroma therapists often recommend essential oils of the following plants to stimulate the nervous system and reduce fatigue. Open the bottle and take a big whiff of the following when you’re feeling drowsy: Rosemary, Eucalyptus, blue gum, Peppermint, Coffee. Beans or brewed, both work: a study has shown that simply smelling coffee can awaken a person. Of course, not all of us have essential oils stored in our file cabinets. Using hand lotions or burning candles with these same scents could help. Herbs like rosemary and peppermint can often be found fresh or dried at a grocery store; for a little pick-me-up, take a pinch and roll it between your fingertips and smell it. Eat healthy. Eating can help you stay awake, as long as you avoid a full stomach. As most of us know, eating to excess often makes us sleepy, so don’t eat a full pizza or that 12 oz. steak during lunch. Munch on snacks all day rather than having a big meal.

The key is to not get a spike of sugar intake (followed by the inevitable crash). Predictably, the same goes for caffeine: break your coffee, soda, or energy drink consumption down into small doses. Avoid breakfasts that are high in carbs (muffins, toast, pastries, bagels, etc.). You’re giving your body a reason to crash at about 11 AM because it gets a sugar spike early on. Put a small handful of sunflower seeds in your cheek and crack them open one at a time, using only your teeth and tongue; this will require just enough active thought and tongue movement to prevent you from dozing off, and the salt of the sunflower seeds is invigorating and stimulating; spit out the sunflower husks into a paper cup as you go, as quietly as possible so as to not disturb others around you. Try stretching. Stretching and twisting your body can help improve blood circulation, which helps keep you awake. Rolling your head/neck for about 20 seconds can help as well. Use acupressure and Massage any of the following points to improve circulation and ease fatigue: The top of your head. Lightly tap it with your fingertip or use a scalp massager.

The back of your neck and Back of your hands. Right between the thumb and index finger is best. Just below the knees and also the Earlobes. Try simple exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, and squats. Don’t push yourself like you do in the gym; instead, just exercise enough to get your blood flowing and keep your coworkers from noticing your strange behavior! Stay on your feet as much as possible. If you’re sitting most of the time, get yourself up every 20-30 minutes. If you need any motivation to stand more of the time, consider this: people who stay seated for less than three hours a day add almost two years to their life expectancy. If you have to sit down, get the most uncomfortable chair you can find. Try not to sit in anything that will make you sore if you stay there. Make sure the back is upright, forcing you to sit up very straight. Don’t allow your head to rest on anything — your hands, the desk, the wall. Take a short walk. Some people take a short walk to re-energize them. It’s generally thought to be a good distraction, especially if you’re sitting in front of a computer screen all day long.

Studies show that taking short breaks from work actually helps your productivity. So if you’re worried about missing that deadline, don’t stress! Walking breaks will help you. (You can let your boss know.)Take a power nap. If you have the time, sleeping for just 15-20 minutes can increase your alertness by leaps and bounds if you have a cup of coffee (or any other form of caffeine) right before you fall asleep. The caffeine will take about 20 minutes to begin working, so you shouldn’t have any trouble falling asleep right away, and you’ll wake up refreshed. Sleeping just 20 minutes helps activate the right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for processing and storing acquired information. Have a regular bedtime and a healthy diet. Brains benefit greatly from schedules. If you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even the weekends, your brain know when it’s time to sleep and fall into a pattern. Getting proper nutrition will also ensure that your body has the proper energy throughout the day without having to resort to naps for extra strength. How much should you sleep to ensure that you’re properly rested? Adults need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you are pregnant or older, you may need even more sleep, anywhere from 10-11 hours. Some recommend going to sleep with your curtains halfway open.

The early morning sunlight will send signals to your I’m gay body to slow production of melatonin and start production of adrenaline, making it easier to wake up. Focus your mental powers. It sounds hard, but don’t let your mind go into the “fuzzy stage.” When your mind starts to go blank, think about something, whether it’s a joke, a movie, or anything else to keep your mind working. Even thinking about something that makes you mad can be extremely helpful. Unless they’re drinking, you typically don’t see an angry person abruptly fall asleep. Falling asleep down range used to be punishable by death and also it can get you in a lot of trouble and can get your squad or team or platoon or company or somebody else’s team squad platoon or company killed and then you’re done for because you’re dead. If you were to fall asleep while as the gunner position in your vehicle you are at risk for attack and put everyone’s lives around you in danger. If there was an attack you would most certainly die or worse someone else might die and that would be on you. Sleep can be just as important to your mission as having enough food, water and ammunition.

Although it may not always be possible to get a full night’s sleep while you’re deployed, developing healthy sleep patterns and habits can help build your resilience, improve your ability to deal with necessary periods of sleeplessness and prepare you to perform your best during a mission. Getting enough quality sleep is especially important for leaders making decisions critical to mission success. Sleep is a biological need – like air, food, or water – and is critical for sustaining the mental abilities needed for success on the battlefield. The average adult requires seven to eight hours of good quality sleep every 24-hour period to sustain operational readiness. Sleep is also incredibly restorative. It helps the body repair itself, it builds resilience by boosting the immune system and it gives people a foundation to help them tackle their tasks each day. Getting enough regular sleep will also improve learning, memory and performance. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can be harder to perform your best on the battlefield. For example, lack of sleep may result in: Slower reaction times, Poor concentration, weakened immune system, Negative moods and lack of motivation, impaired memory and judgment.

When being deployed having sleep is very important and people depend on you to get the job done. Doing PT before shift also comes in as a factor of why people may be sleepy before shift. Doing PT is energizing but also can be very tiring at the same time. Doing your best to not fall asleep on shift is important enough. But on top of that you have to worry mostly on your mission at hand. That is staying focused and getting to calls and responding with all the training that you have received over your time in the army. Since I’ve only been in for 9 months I’m still pretty bad at all this so I’m sorry for falling asleep. I honestly think I suffer from sleep apnea. It could also be that I’m narcoleptic which is pretty bad. If you were to talk to people back home about how much I sleep they would say that they were surprised that I wasn’t in a coma. I use to sleep standing up at my job at Winn-Dixie as a cashier. It was only a few times but still it happened. I use to come home from school and sleep till about 10pm and I got home at 4pm. I had a bad problem with doing my homework with this problem. I’m sorry I fell asleep SGT P. I know I’m not the best soldier but I try not to mess up and get yelled at. I’m mostly quite all the time just so people can just over look me and try not to notice me.

I feel like I shouldn’t be where I’m at sometimes because the way people talk to me. I guess it’s just a normal PVT thing so I always just let what people say to me not try to affect my day or what I’m doing. Falling asleep is stupid and is very much punishable by Article 15. I need to keep trying to get squared away with everything so that maybe one day I can just be a squared away soldier that you don’t have to worry about. Joining the army has changed who I am today and I’m so thankful for that. I had to right an RBI in basic and it was about fraternization I know what you’re thinking I surprised it’s not about sleeping but when its really comes down to it we all mess up and we are all sorry about it and I’m going to try my hardest to not mess up again. I would end it here but I have 2000 more words so I’m just going to keep going and talk more about the army and my goals from here on out and why I shouldn’t sleep.

10 amazing reasons why you should not sleep on shift/work/duty. #1 you can’t provide covering fire or any kind of fire if you are passed out sleeping in your cot back at the fob when you should be helping your battle buddies out and not being a blue falcon. #2 when you’re working the road you need to be awake to respond to calls and to be there for the people that live in housing if they need you. It’s your position so don’t mess it up and maybe you will get a high five at the end of shift. #3 If you are trying to be the best then it doesn’t help to get totally shit faced the night prior to coming into work and not being able to handle it. This leads to people being angry and disappointed. #4 you can literally get people killed by falling asleep. #5 says you have watch tower duty when you’re deployed and you fall asleep and the base gets ambushed. Once everything’s said and done you might as well hope that you’re dead because you’re going to be in some deep shit. #6 if a little girl comes up to the car and tries to get help and she sees that your asleep she might get kidnapped because she was lost and needed help and you couldn’t provide for her. #7 if there was a fire and a pregnant mother was trapped in the house still the fireman is all busy and you’re the only one left to help. Looks like there are 2 lives that you will always have on you conscious because you weren’t there to save the day.

# 8 when Mohawk calls you to the desk and he has some cases to do you won’t be able to respond because your asleep way to go.#9 If you were asleep on duty and your co-workers call you back for something you won’t be able to come cause your asleep. The sad thing about it was they were throwing you a surprise birthday party and now your just a sad disappointment to them all.# 10 last but not least you let yourself down and that should mean something to you so shame on you if it doesn’t cause you’re a really horrible person. Working shift has its ups and downs mostly its downs. A shift worker is anyone who follows a work schedule that is outside of the typical “9 to 5” business day. In the past few decades the United States has become increasingly dependent upon shift workers to meet the demands of globalization and our 24-hour society. From a competitive standpoint, shift work is an excellent way to increase production and customer service without major increases in infrastructure. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millions of Americans are considered shift workers, including doctors and nurses, pilots, bridge-builders, police officers, customer service representatives and commercial drivers.

However, while shift work does create potential productivity advantages, it also has many inherent risks. Some of the most serious and persistent problems shift workers face are frequent sleep disturbance and associated excessive sleepiness. Sleepiness/fatigue in the work place can lead to poor concentration, absenteeism, accidents, errors, injuries, and fatalities. The issue becomes more alarming when you consider that shift workers are often employed in the most dangerous of jobs, such as firefighting, emergency medical services, law enforcement and security. Managers and policy makers who are responsible for writing and enforcing rules regarding employee work hours must address the specific issues of a 24-hour work force in order to succeed and benefit from such a labor force. Although addressing these issues may require some investment up front for training and other measures, the bottom line is that improved sleep in workers may lead to improved productivity.

In fact, to ignore the needs of the shift worker is reckless and irresponsible when you consider that billions of dollars in yearly costs, thousands of deaths, and some of the most notorious of modern catastrophes such as the failure of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the crash of the Exxon Valdez have been attributed to human fatigue. According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift workers are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases. Whether this is related to the fact that shift workers are awake and active during the night hours or because they tend to get fewer hours of sleep overall than traditional workers is not known. Also, shift workers often miss out on important family and social events due to their work schedules. Most managers recognize that understanding and addressing these issues improves employee morale, performance, safety and health, and can dramatically improve the bottom line of the company. People who work in the transportation industry face some of the most serious challenges.

They battle fatigue because of their irregular sleep schedules and endure long ted ious hours at the controls or behind the wheel. In fact, research suggests that driver fatigue behind the wheel caused by sleep deprivation is one of the leading safety hazards in the transportation industry. According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift work sleep disorder is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Circadian rhythm refers to the ~24hr rhythmic output of the human biological clock. It is considered a disorder because of the frequency with which people suffer from sleep disturbance and excessive sleepiness in trying to adapt to a shift work schedule. The main complaint for people with shift work sleep disorder is excessive sleepiness. Other symptoms include: Insomnia, Disrupted sleep schedules, reduced performance, Difficulties with personal relationships, Irritability/depressed mood.

Unfortunately, treatment for shift work sleep disorder is limited. Both behavioral and pharmacological remedies can help alleviate symptoms. Some research indicates that the body may never fully adapt to shift work, especially for those who switch to a normal weekend sleep schedule. But there are ways of getting adequate sleep while doing shift work. For some shift workers, napping is essential. It can be extremely effective at eliminating fatigue-related accidents and injuries and reducing workers compensation costs. Although most employers do not allow napping in the workplace, a ban on napping may soon prove to be a legal liability. Thus, efforts to make workplace policies nap-friendly may soon gain popularity as the issue increases in global significance. I strongly agree with a nap friendly work place. Although not everyone who works odd hours has shift work sleep disorder, a lot can be at stake. People with shift work disorder have higher rates of absenteeism and accidents related to sleepiness than night workers without the disorder.

Memory and ability to focus can become impaired, and shift workers who are sleep-deprived often get irritable or depressed, says Wesley Elon Fleming, MD, clinical assistant professor at Loma Linda University and director of the Sleep Center Orange County in Southern California. Their relationships and social life can suffer, too. Shift workers also face potential health problems, researchers have found. Overall, those who work night or rotating shifts seem to have a higher risk of ulcers, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. Nearly everyone has days when they feel sleepy. But for some people, excessive sleepiness actually gets in the way of daily work, childcare and even leisure activities. This is known as hypersomnia, recurrent sleepiness that makes people want to nap repeatedly, even at work. Not surprisingly, the problem of daytime sleepiness usually starts at night.

Even missing just a few nights’ sleep, or not getting enough uninterrupted sleep, can slow you down and sour your mood. People who have problem sleepiness are often advised to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including on weekends. But randomly setting an ideal bedtime can lead to more frustration if you suffer from insomnia and already have trouble falling asleep. Another approach to getting into a consistent schedule is to try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for four nights. Then stick with the last bedtime. Gradually adjusting your schedule like this usually works better than suddenly trying to go to sleep an hour earlier. Regular mealtimes, not just regular sleep times, help regulate our circadian rhythms. Eating a healthy breakfast and lunch on time — rather than grabbing a doughnut and coffee in the morning or a late sandwich on the run — also prevents energy deficits during the day that will aggravate your sleepiness.

Plan to finish eating meals two to three hours before bedtime. If you do all of this you should be feeling good for work and get a good night’s sleep. Many times have people done stupid things and gotten away with them. It just so happens I wasn’t so lucky and I had to write this paper on why I shouldn’t sleep at work. I have looked up reasons why not to and people’s ideas on how to even stay awake for work. I’ve talked about what a bad person you are for doing and when you do you put everyone around you in danger and their lives. I’ve given some pretty detailed stories of other people that fall asleep at work as well.

Putting all of this in one paper is really long and hard and very, very tiring. I again am super sorry for falling asleep during shift and I know now from so much research that it is an issue not only for me but for many people across the world. I promise that I will use some of these techniques I have learned to stay awake on shift and to never be looked at as the guy who fell asleep. I don’t want to be a disappointment to you any longer and I hope that we can move past this and move forward as a best as possible so we can still be an efficient team. Along with Birdwell.

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