Coffee is most everyone’s number one choice for a pick-up-me. Have to work late? Coffee. Couldn’t get a full night’s sleep? Coffee. Need a jolt of energy to stay focused and alert? Coffee.
You can count on coffee, or really anything with caffeine in it, to get you through it. But watch out if you’re among those who work at night and sleep during the day: there’s new evidence that coffee can really tie a knot in your attempts to get some sleep when you need it most.
The Federal Aviation Administration is rewriting its rules that govern flight time for pilots and their required rest periods in order to reduce the chances of fatigue. It will be the first update to the rules in decades and will utilize research that wasn’t available before.
Does that make me feel better the next time I fly?
It’s hard to legislate sleep. As an employer you can certainly set rules and guidelines, hoping your employees show up refreshed and ready to perform, but you can’t really enforce or police it—even when lives depend on it.
Hearing about the fatigue factor involved in Continental’s February plane crash on a cold, icy night near Buffalo, New York has been horrifying. According to the latest reports from the NTSB, the main cause of the crash is being blamed on the crew’s lack of experience and lack of sleep (lack of proper conduct in the cockpit, too, which certainly stems from a lack of experience and sleep).
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to be and feel awake and alert, but you just can’t for whatever reason. Although life is usually very busy for those who have regular 9 to 5 jobs and families to run, it’s quite different for people whose jobs have them covering odd shifts or traversing the country through different time zones and long journeys (ahem business travelers).