Sleepy Pilots, Train Operators and Drivers

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Date:
Thursday, March 1, 2012

drivers (42%), one-third of train operators (33%) and nearly one-fourth of bus, taxi and limo drivers (24%) say they actually napped during work hours in the past two weeks, compared to about one in five non-transportation workers (19%).

 

“Transportation workers have challenging schedules that compete with the natural need for sleep. While I’m impressed that transportation professionals nap when they are off duty, we need to better understand how to use naps to reduce sleep deprivation and overcome scheduling issues,” says Thomas Balkin, PhD, a sleep researcher from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

 

For more information about the National Sleep Foundation’s 2012 poll, read the complete summary of findings, worker profiles and examples of crashes where fatigue was found to be a contributing factor.

Healthy Sleep Advice
If you are troubled by excessive daytime sleepiness or have problems getting or maintaining sleep, try the following sleep tips:

  • Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
  • Use bright light to help manage your "body clock." Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
  • Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
  • Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write them in a "worry book" so you can address those issues the next day.
  • If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
  • Exercise regularly, but avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime.
  • If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or “stop breathing” episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening.

Poll Methodology and Definitions
The 2012 Sleep in America ® annual poll was conducted for the National Sleep