Hours of work & rest

Hours of work & rest

 4 Apr 2019

According to the National Institute of Health, the average adult sleeps less than 7 hours per night.  Whilst most sleeping patterns vary dependant on the person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours per night to function at their best.
I can say before I had my first child, I was one of those “healthy adults” and never knew how much I loved my sleep.  After this time any sleep pattern I may have had went straight out the window.  Now, I don’t remember what the phrase “a long lie in” means.  My son doesn’t know the difference between a week day and a weekend and still will be up extremely early and bright as a button.  In terms of struggling to get to sleep have you ever heard of the term “Counting sheep” and wondered where this came from? The most popular belief has to do with shepherds in medieval times in Britain.  If shepherds used communal grazing land, they were obligated to keep a constant head count of their sheep. So, before they went to sleep, they used to count their sheep to ensure they were all accounted for.
Have the Spanish got it right with their common traditional siesta time in the afternoon where everything closes, and people take a nap? This apparently proves to be relaxing and rejuvenating!  New ways of enjoying a quick siesta in Spain these Days are even taking the form of “Siesta Cafés” or “Siesta and Go”.
Even the staff at google take cat naps in sleeping pods which the company claims can ‘improve mood, creativity and learning’ as well as ‘boosting alertness and productivity’.
The Greek design company Studio NL has just designed a “nap desk” that lets workers get some sleep whilst at the workplace.  The desk is designed so that you can sleep in the compartment underneath the desk, could this be the way forward in the office working environment?
Comparing working in an office to that of a ship, working on a vessel is a totally different story as most of us working onboard will be familiar with the ILO – yes that little sheet or spreadsheet that you had to fill out with the x in the box for hours of work/rest.  The limit on your hours of work should not exceed a maximum of 14 hours in any 24-hour period and 72 hours in any 7 Day period.  And minimum hours of rest should not be less than 10 hours in any 24-hour period and 77 hours in any 7 Day period. 
It is each crew members responsibility to record their hours of work and rest.  These would then be entered into the system and sent to the shoreside shipping office.  These statistics would also be monitored and audited to ensure the companies are being compliant.
Now how many of these sheets are totally accurate... I wonder????
Some fun facts for you to know: 
  • As humans we spend an average of 25 years sleeping.  That’s almost a third of our lives.
  • 12% of people dream in black and white
  • “Parasomnia” is a term that refers to unnatural movements during your sleep
  • Sleep deprivation would kill you more quickly than food deprivation
  • Pain tolerance is reduced by sleep deprivation


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