You probably know that not getting eight hours’ sleep every night can damage your long-term health outlook. But sleep deprivation also puts you at risk for microsleep events: brief, involuntary lapses in attention that can be extremely hazardous.
Microsleep carries a clear risk for drivers, but even people who seldom drive or operate heavy machinery can suffer consequences. At work, a microsleep event might make you miss important details during routine tasks. For people who work in dangerous environments, a lapse in attention due to microsleep can result in a near-miss accident or work injury. For people who work in finance and accounting, missing a detail can cost the company or a client thousands or millions of dollars. And parents and other caretakers could even put the lives of children at risk by losing sight of them during microsleep events.
Pills, caffeine, and other chemical influences can only go so far to bridge a serious sleep deficit. Instead, try making environmental changes that will help you get more sleep, such as removing distractions and artificial light from your bedroom.
For more advice on getting a good night’s rest, check out our Instaread on Why We Sleep.