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June 02, 2019

National Safety Month Spotlight – Why Fatigue is Dangerous  

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Most people don’t get enough sleep, which results in forgetfulness, an inability to concentrate, irritability and all sort of other unpleasant consequences. But did you know your lack of shut-eye is downright dangerous?  

Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, and fatigue plays a huge role in just how injury-prone we are. Here are 3 scary reasons everyone should get more sleep each night:  

  1. Sleeping less than 5 hours has the physiological effect of being drunk, and you’re 3 times as likely to get injured.  
  2. Fatigue is to blame for 30% of severe car crashes. Drivers with less than 6 hours of sleep are 1.3 times as likely to crash, and 15 times more likely to crash with less than 4 hours of sleep.  
  3. Athletes who sleep less than 8 hours are nearly twice as likely to get injured, and the risk goes up with age.  

Lack of sleep is not only bad for your health – it’s unsafe. Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night will improve your function during the day, and help keep you out of harm’s way!