Jan 29 / Amanda Slinger

The Morning Wars - Are you ready?

Last Thursday Mike Jeffreys (2GB Sydney & 4BC Brisbane) invited Amanda onto his show and they talked about sleep and inclusive conversations for shift workers.

Because shift workers don't always sleep 'AT NIGHT' or wake up 'IN THE MORNING'.

What does a non-inclusive conversation look like?

Here are some examples of what is meant by non-inclusive conversations:

🕝 'How good do you feel after a great night sleep?'
🕗 'A healthy adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night'
🕠 'When you wake up in the morning...'

Why does it matter?

16% of our workforce are shift workers. In Australia, that represents +2 Million Aussies, many of whom are exposed to high stress and/or high risk.

Think... health care workers, emergency services, factory workers, miners and transport workers, oil & gas workers... and many more.

These may be people you work with or people in your team, it could be your partner or friend or even your Doctor!

The scientific literature clearly shows that shift work can have a negative impact on health, wellbeing and safety due to disruption of the circadian rhythm resulting in poor sleep. 

For shift workers in high-stress / high-risk roles, poor sleep can be catastrophic to their ability to handle challenges and remain alert, focussed and vigilant. 

How to better support the health, wellbeing and safety of shift workers?

Better support for the mental health, wellbeing and safety of shift workers starts with optimising sleep and rest.

This includes:
⭐ Regulating a minimum 12-hour break between shifts for all workers (the Australian mining and transport industries led the charge on this decades ago yet the current Industrial Agreement for Dr's is a ridiculous minimum of 8-hours!!!)
⭐ Providing high-school leavers with information about the impact of shift work and how their natural chronotype may influence their ability to handle shift work
⭐ Educating shift workers on the science of sleep and what they can do to optimise sleep and rest
⭐ Ensuring we have inclusive sleep conversations for shift workers that optimise engagement with messaging around wellbeing, fatigue management and safety. 

So, what does an INCLUSIVE conversation look like?

🕝 'How good do you feel after a great night sleep?'

🕗 'A healthy adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night 24-hours

🕠 'When you wake up in the morning  each day...'

It's pretty simple stuff, but has a big impact on those in our communities who need the most help with their sleep.

How can you better support the shift workers in your life and in your team?