3 Surprising Facts About Sleep You Might Have Missed
by Troy Schrenk
Like eating or drinking, sleep is a biological requirement. According to the CDC, sleep deprivation is a growing epidemic in the workforce, particularly for shift workers. The National Institutes of Health suggests that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, but too often, workers average fewer than 6 hours.
We know that sleep is a critical component for staying healthy and working safely, but what are the specific risks of a poorly rested workforce? Sleep deprivation is the first stage of a chain reaction that can lead to lost productivity, higher costs and decreased safety.
Depriving the mind and body of opportunities to sleep can lead to mood disturbances, physical illness, and depression. Absenteeism and presenteeism resulting from poor sleeping conditions can heavily impact worker productivity. Sleep deprivation leads to poor health and sickness, a contributing factor to absenteeism. Just as damaging is presenteeism: when workers are present for work but not operating at their full capacity due to unseen problems their supervisors might miss.
Higher Healthcare & Training Costs
Since regular sleep is a critical factor for maintaining health, and since sleep deprivation leads to increased risk of accidents, cutting corners on your workers’ sleeping environments today can lead to increased healthcare and workers compensation costs down the line. In this case, prevention really is cheaper than treatment! Sleep deprivation can lead to depression, poor health, dissatisfaction, and increased risk of injury. These factors combine to create high attrition rates, leaving you with higher training costs.
Safe work environments are a critical focus for the oil and gas industries. A sleep deprived worker responsible for driving or operating equipment can be just as disoriented as someone with a 0.10% blood alcohol concentration. A workforce that is sleep deprived is one that will be more prone to accidents, large and small.
Fatigue management plans aim to ameliorate the risks described above, but they often overlook a crucial component: beds.
Comfortable bedding is a crucial component of this formula. Comfort is not just a luxury or an afterthought, it’s a requirement. Research has shown that mattress firmness has statistically significant effects on both sleep and daytime functioning. Target Lodging facilities come complete with a patented “Hibernator Sleep System™”, which includes a pillow-top mattress, high-thread-count sheets and overstuffed pillows.
While workers require privacy at the end of a long work day, motels can offer too much privacy, to the point of isolation. Worksites are usually a long distance from workers’ homes, and workers are frequently living on a different schedule from their friends and families. Humans are social creatures, and isolation negatively impacts both mental and emotional health. Additionally, when workers are lodged in hotels or motels, there’s a risk that their sleeping environments may be too noisy, too bright, too dangerous, or too far away from your worksite. Modular housing from Target Lodging offers workers opportunities to socialize with their peers, while maintaining domain over their own private space.
After a long day of hard work in the field, workers need to rest. Along with a quiet environment, blackout windows, and temperature controls, bedding comfort is one of the top factors contributing to a rejuvenating night’s sleep. To rejuvenate means to “make young again.” While a good bed isn’t exactly a a time machine or fountain of youth, our Hibernator Sleep System™ is guaranteed to leave your workers feeling fresh, lively and well-rested every time they wake up.