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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Sleep deprivation among U.S. workers a growing problem, study finds

More than 1 out of 3 U.S. working adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and the prevalence of sleep deprivation has increased significantly since 2010, according to researchers from Ball State University.

The researchers analyzed 2010-2018 data from more than 150,000 working adults who participated in the National Health Interview Survey to determine the frequency of short sleep duration. Of the respondents, 35.6% reported getting less than seven hours of sleep a night in 2018. That’s up from 30.9% in 2010.

“Inadequate sleep is associated with mild to severe physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and premature mortality,” Jagdish Khubchandani, lead study author and a health science professor at BSU, said in a press release. “This is a significant finding because the U.S. is currently witnessing high rates of chronic diseases across all ages, and many of these diseases are related to sleep problems.”

Other findings:

  • Professions with the highest prevalence of sleep deprivation in 2018 were police and military (50%), health care support (45%), transport and material moving (41%), and production occupations (41%).
  • Among women, 38.8% reported less than seven hours of sleep a night, up from 31.2% in 2010. Among men, those percentages were 35.5 and 30.5, respectively.
  • Among racial groups, sleep deficiency prevalence rose among African Americans (40.6% to 46.5%), Asian Americans (29.5% to 35.3%) and whites (29.2% to 34.1%).

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep seven to nine hours a night.

“Employers have a major responsibility and should use health promotion strategies to ensure that workers who struggle with sleep problems are assisted,” Khubchandani said. “We all suffer when our bus and truck drivers, doctors, and nurses are sleep deprived. There is a need for increasing awareness and improving the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, and there needs to be emphasis on public education, training for health professionals and monitoring.”

Waking up to the risks of workplace fatigue

More than 1 in 10 injuries on the job may be linked to insufficient sleep, experts say

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For many people struggling to cope with the pressures of life in a 24/7, on-demand world, sleep gets relegated to the bottom of their to-do list. Sleep is sacrificed to squeeze in an extra hour of productivity, or because rest time is equated with wasted time.

“In America, we have a long-standing culture of thinking, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead,’ or ‘Sleep is for lazy people,’ or ‘People who value rest are not as ambitious,’” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager, fatigue initiative, at the National Safety Council. “We have a history of incentivizing people who work long hours with extra pay, promotions and recognition.”    Read more»