November 27, 2014

High-tech chicken soup to ease fatigue

Sleep, fatigue, workplace safety and quality of life are stitched together tighter than the seams on a major league baseball – and unpredictable work schedules can undo those stitches faster than a Stephen Strasburg 100-mph heater.

A new website, created by sleep scientists at Harvard Medical School, the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and the Federal Railroad Administration – following anonymous survey input from train and engine workers represented by the UTU and the BLET – provides train and engine workers an interactive guide to a better understanding of factors that contribute to and inhibit proper rest.

The Railroaders’ Guide to Healthy Sleep website provides articles, videos, a game, a quiz and illustrations intended to help understand your body clock, recognize sleep impediments, reduce fatigue, stay alert and safe, and improve your quality of life.

Consider it high-tech chicken soup for the overworked rail struggling to balance work and family life.

Included are practical steps to combat fatigue by adjusting nap times and consumption of caffeine and other beverages and foods, and practical ways to deal with individual variations in sleep needs and the daily ups and downs in human alertness and sleepiness.

A quiz helps you determine how well you sleep, while an interactive game permits you to test your reaction time.

There also is information on sleep apnea and other sleep problems, and how to find sleep specialists in your neck of the woods.

Give the website a thorough test drive by clicking on the following link:

www.railroadersleep.org

For many rails, the website may ensure your returning home in one piece – and for all rails, the website will help you achieve a better balance between work and family life.