Let's talk about Shift Work, Sleep and Health
In our research, we found this post by The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) regarding shift work, sleep and health.
Though this was published in 2018, here at Rest Space we are confident the issues mentioned here have been exacerbated by the recent pandemic and doing all we can to bring up to date research to organisations and people involved with shift work.
"NHS staff are at high risk of sleep and circadian disruption, and there is evidence showing that fatigue is linked to increased risk of medical errors with consequences for patient safety."
The key takeaways from this article are here:
Shift work is common in many safety-critical and other sectors, including transport and healthcare. This can disrupt sleep and circadian timing
Shift work is linked with an increased risk of sleep problems, occupational and driving accidents, and long-term health conditions
Reducing its impact is a potential way to improve public health, health and safety in the workplace, and increase productivity
"Shift-work related fatigue has been implicated in several serious workplace accidents. For example, fatigue has been linked to 21% of UK rail incidents."
Some solutions that can be implemented to help alleviate the effects of shift work include:
Strategically timed breaks/naps during the shift; this can be facilitated by having suitable break rooms or sleeping pods
Improve education around managing shift work and promoting health and wellbeing
Develop an open culture around taking breaks and napping when needed
Get in touch with RestSpaceLDN If you would like to talk about some of these points or if you have any interesting articles you would like to share with us.
Some extra reading
Doctors should nap during night shifts - British Medical Journal
Challenging the stigma of workplace napping - Oxford Academic
Guidelines for Using Napping to Prevent Commercial Vehicle Driver Fatigue
Napping: A public health issue. From epidemiological to laboratory studies