Lack of sleep has become a common factor in farm incidents
By Haley Bilokrary,
Do you get enough sleep? According to our recent polls, 48% of Farms.com readers spend less than 7 hours sleeping each night, the recommended minimum for adults.
A further concerning fact about this percentage is that it doesn’t consider sleep habits during busy seasons, like planting, harvesting, or calving, where farmers may sleep significantly less.
So, farmers don’t get enough sleep... why does it matter? Although it’s often overlooked, sleep is crucial for the daily functioning of your body.
Aside from the general health risks that come along with fatigue, such as weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, and a greater risk of diabetes and heart disease, sleep is also important for safety on a farm.
When farmers don’t get the amount of sleep that they need it leads to decreased coordination, reaction time delays, reduced concentration, and greater mood swings that affect decision making. All of these side effects are dangerous, especially when working on a farm around large animals, tall structures, and heavy equipment.
For this reason, sleep has become one of the most common causes for a variety of incidents on the farm like falling into grain bins, tractor crashes or roll overs, and amputations from machinery.
We know that getting enough sleep is not always a simple task. Peak seasons in agriculture can make it hard to set aside sufficient time to sleep and can affect the speed you fall asleep once in bed. However, there are a few strategies you can implement to help get a better sleep.
Here are a few tips that could help you have a productive rest...
- Establish a regular sleep schedule
- Refrain from caffeine and alcohol a few hours before bed
- Avoid using electronics right before sleeping
- Sleep in a dark, quiet, and cool environment
- Try to limit naps after 3:00 p.m.
Remember that even an extra 20 minutes every night can make a big difference.
Take time during Canadian Agricultural Safety Week to start good sleep habits and stay safe on your farm. For more information about Canadian Agricultural Safety week, visit agsafetyweek.ca