Accession Number:

ADA510840

Title:

Alertness Management Strategies for Operational Contexts

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB BROOKS AFB TX HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIRECTORATE

Report Date:

2008-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

18.0

Abstract:

This article provides a review which addresses the problem of fatigue attributable to sleep loss in modern society and the scientifically proven strategies useful for reducing fatigue-related risks. Fatigue has become pervasive because many people work non-standard schedules, andor they consistently fail to obtain sufficient sleep. Sleep restriction, sleep deprivation, and circadian desynchronization produce a variety of decrements in cognitive performance as well as an array of occupational and health risks. A number of real-world mishaps have resulted from performance failures associated with operator sleepiness. In some cases, fatiguesleepiness is unavoidable, at least temporarily, due to job-related or other factors, but in other cases, fatiguesleepiness results from poor personal choices. Furthermore, some individuals are more vulnerable to the effects of sleep loss than others. Fortunately, fatigue-related risks can be mitigated with scientifically-valid alertness-management strategies. Proper workrest scheduling and good sleep hygiene are of primary importance. If sleep time is available but sleep is difficult to obtain, sleep-inducing medications and behavioral circadian-adjustment strategies are key. In fatiguing situations such as when sleep opportunities are temporarily inadequate, lin1iting time on tasks, strategic napping, and the potential use of alertness-enhancing compounds must be considered. To optimize any alertness-management program, everyone must first be educated about the nature of the problem and the manner in which accepted remedies should be implemented. In the near future, objective fatigue-detection technologies may contribute substantially to the alleviation of fatigue-related risks in real-world operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Stress Physiology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE