Stress-related sleep problems may put migrant roofers in danger


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Houston — Migrant roofing workers are more likely to experience poor sleep quality, which may put them at increased risk of injury, Rice University researchers say.

A team analyzed surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 400 migrant roofers who work in communities impacted by natural disasters.

The researchers identified numerous factors that contributed to shorter sleep duration, restlessness and general sleep problems among migrant roofers. Factors included stress related to working fewer days per month, being out of work, and lacking legal authorization to work. Additionally, workers who lived in temporary housing were shown to be at greater risk of poor sleep quality than roofers who had permanent housing.

In a press release, Sergio Chavez, study lead author and Rice University associate professor of sociology, said a lack of sleep can add to the danger of what is already “harrowing” work.

“Migrant workers form part of a growing occupational group that rebuilds in the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes,” the researchers write in the study. “The work these migrant workers perform is essential but also unstable, exploitative and dangerous, which stresses their health and well-being.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Not getting enough zzzs may up your risk of developing multiple chronic diseases

Original article published by Safety+Health

Is getting seven hours of sleep something you can only dream of? Results of a recent study suggest that falling two hours short of the recommended limit increases your risk of developing at least two chronic diseases.

Using data from nearly 8,000 British adults between 50 and 70 years old, researchers looked for links between sleep duration, mortality and whether participants had been diagnosed with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes over 25 years.

Compared with the participants who slept up to seven hours a night, those who slept five hours or less a night at age 50 were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases. They also had a 25% increased risk of mortality over the 25-year follow-up period.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends working-age adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Older adults should get seven to eight hours.

“To ensure a better night’s sleep, it is important to promote good sleep hygiene, such as making the bedroom quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature, before sleeping,” said lead study author Severine Sabia, a researcher at the University College London. “It’s also advised to remove electronic devices and avoid large meals before bedtime. Physical activity and exposure to light during the day might also promote good sleep.”

The study was published online in the journal PLOS Medicine.

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Exhausted nation: Americans more tired than ever, survey finds

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

New York — Do you feel like you’re constantly running on fumes? If so, it’s not just you. Around 3 out of 5 U.S. adults say they feel more tired now than they’ve ever been and blame it on additional time spent at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, results of a recent survey show.

Researchers from marketing research company OnePoll surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults to learn about the impacts the pandemic is having on their energy levels, as well as any accompanying side effects. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they feel unfocused or disjointed, and that taking a brief nap isn’t a “viable solution.” More than half of the respondents (55%) said no amount of rest helps them feel focused, while slightly more (56%) believe poor sleep schedules have led to low energy levels.

Other findings:

  • 69% of the respondents said working from home has disrupted their sleep schedule.
  • Long work hours (53%), staying indoors during lockdowns (52%), too much screen time (46%) and lack of a regular routine (41%) were cited as the leading causes for prolonged feelings of exhaustion.
  • Among the participants working from home, 34% said many of the activities that typically boost their energy levels aren’t possible during the pandemic.
  • 3 out of 5 respondents said video conferences are more draining than in-person meetings.

The American Sleep Association offers tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

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Caffeine may not be the cognitive kick-starter many people imagine: study

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Lansing, MI – If you rely on caffeine to provide a brain boost after a poor night of sleep, findings of a recent study from researchers at Michigan State University may give you a jolt.

Researchers from MSU’s Sleep and Learning Lab asked 276 people to complete separate tasks one evening. One task involved simply paying attention, while the other required completing steps in a specific order. Participants then were randomly assigned to either stay up all night at the sleep lab or return home to sleep.

The next morning, all of the participants reconvened at the sleep lab and were given either a 200-milligram caffeine capsule or a placebo. Each was asked to complete both tasks again.

Lead study author Kimberly Fenn, an associate professor of cognition and cognitive neuroscience at MSU, said in a press release that although caffeine assisted the participants with completing the attention-based task, “it had little effect on performance on the place keeping task for most participants.”

Fenn added that consuming caffeine after sleep deprivation “doesn’t do much to prevent the sort of procedural errors” that can trigger medical mistakes and vehicle crashes.

“Caffeine increases energy, reduces sleepiness and can even improve mood, but it absolutely does not replace a full night of sleep,” Fenn said. “Although people may feel as if they can combat sleep deprivation with caffeine, their performance on higher-level tasks will likely still be impaired. This is one of the reasons that sleep deprivation can be so dangerous.”

The study was published online May 20 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

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