Sleep, or the lack of it, can affect every single one of us, and our mental health. And a new poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation demonstrates how lack of sleep can also affect our safety.
The 2012 Sleep in America poll, which kicked off National Sleep Awareness Week, focused on the sleep routines of transportation workers, such as pilots and taxi drivers, and how these routines impact their experiences at work, according to a poll press release.
The poll included a sample of 1,087 adults over 25 years old, including 292 adults who were non-transportation workers as the control group.
The results show that many transportation workers, especially pilots and train operators, are aware of issues in job performance and safety due to lack of proper sleep. This puts not only themselves at danger, but everyone else who decides to be a passenger as well.
“About one-fourth of train operators (26 percent) and pilots (23 percent) admit that sleepiness has affected their job performance at least once a week, compared to about one in six non-transportation workers (17 percent),” according to a poll press release. “One in five pilots (20 percent) admit that they have made a serious error and one in six train operators (18 percent) and truck drivers (14 percent) say that they have had a ‘near miss’ due to sleepiness.”
Transportation workers continue to put themselves and others in danger when sleepiness impairs their driving in the commute to and from work.
“Pilots and train operators are significantly more likely than non-transportation workers (6 percent each, compared to 1 percent) to say that they have been involved in a car accident due to sleepiness while commuting,” according to the press release.
Although the poll focused on transportation workers, Americans who work in general have issues with sleepiness that affects their performance at work and safety. However, the consequences of a pilot being sleepy compared to a customer service representative, for example, are completely different if you look at the number of people who could be impacted.