40 winks is important in managing good health and fatigue

While Coronavirus is at the forefront of our minds, it's important we remember the basics and get enough sleep to promote good health and help minimise fatigue.

It is estimated around 4 in 10 Australians don't get enough sleep and consequently feel tired (source: www.healthdirect.gov.au). For some people this is due to sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnoea but for many others poor sleeping habits are the underlying cause. 

We spend around 8 hours a day or a third of our lives in bed - around 26 years sleeping - so it's really important we make the most of this time!

Sleep boosts mental and physical well-being, including building strong immunity, helping to regulate weight and assist in preventing chronic disease.

However, poor sleep can contribute to feeling fatigued which is a state of impairment that can include physical and/or mental elements associated with lower alertness, reduced performance and impaired decision-making. It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life.

In more simple terms, fatigue is the loss of alertness which directly affects our capacity to work and perform tasks safely. When you are fatigued it is hard to concentrate or think clearly, potentially putting the safety and health of yourself and others around you at risk particularly when:

  • Operating fixed or mobile equipment, including driving vehicles
  • Undertaking critical tasks that require a high level of concentration
  • Undertaking night or shift work when a person would ordinarily be sleeping.

In the mining and processing industry workers are particularly susceptible to fatigue considering the long hours and shift work involved. Fatigue can also be caused by a broad range of non-work related factors as well, such as poor eating habits and family circumstances.

If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform everyday activities, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing fatigue that needs further investigation.

Rest assured, Glencore takes the issue of fatigue extremely seriously so we've put together some simple tips to manage fatigue. If you have any concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider or your friendly local Health Team at Glencore.

Tips to prevent fatigue

  • Adjust sleeping patterns to suit your work arrangements

  • Plan family and social activity to fit in with work rosters

  • Maintain a healthy diet and increase your physical activity

  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption

  • Find ways to reduce stress (take time to do the things you enjoy)

  • Balance work and home life (manage your time effectively, set reasonable goals for yourself).

  • Consult Glencore's Employee Assistance Program if fatigue is impacting on your quality of life.