There are numerous television campaigns that remind us that alcohol kills at the wheel. On the other hand, the risks associated with fatigue are rarely mentioned. A study of Australian and New Zealand researchers yet shows that after a few hours of sleep, our reflexes are still more slowed only after several glasses of alcohol ingestion. Not very reassuring for who must travel on roads or perform hazardous tasks at night.
Undertaken by Australian and New Zealand, researchers study ** conducted 39 adults. Nine of them were in the army and the rest worked for the transportation industry. Our guinea pigs had, for the purposes of science, refrain from sleep for 28 hours. Then, the researchers analysed their replies to all kinds of standardized tests, involving their attention and coordination capabilities. These answers were then compared with those obtained after alcohol consumption, with adverse effects on the alertness and reflexes are admitted for a very long.
Drunk on fatigue
After 17 to 19 hours of standby, the performance of our volunteers were also poor, or even worse, after ingestion of two glasses of wine (a blood alcohol level of 0.5 g/l). In our “night watchman”, some answers to the tests occurred in a time 50% higher than the usual time. And the actions of the participants were less precise than for a blood alcohol level of 0.5 g/l.
Attention returning late-night work
When the subjects had not slept for a higher time, responses to the tests were and became also unsatisfactory than those obtained after ingestion of a quantity of alcohol up to 1 g/l alcohol.
Drivers should take more account of this parameter and admit that they are less efficient when they have not slept for 17 to 18 hours. Certain circumstances appear to be more dangerous, as for example the routes of return home that can follow a long evening of “cart” to work.
In the same way, it is perhaps not so safer to run long distances by car at night to avoid plugs, as do so many vacationers summer. In this case, the solution may be a small NAP in anticipation. Do not always comply with driving times or those of rest, the road are probably not safe from this threat.
Finally, all those of us who sleep less than six hours a night appear fairly highly exposed. According to the authors, two out of three traffic accidents have for origin fatigue caused by lack of sleep in developed countries.
The world of the work involved
This study should not overlooked nor in the factories where the workers are brought to practice unsafe acts. And one can imagine that the practice of the three eight arranged not things. Young internal hospitals, astreints frequent nights of guard, seem them as particularly exposed to this risk… and as a result their patients.
Because of its significant social impact, the subject should, in any event, arousing the attention of trade unionists in many sectors. But is it the same of their employers?