Vancouver’s Fatigue Science Develops New Technology to Help Sleep

Sleep: we spend a third of our lives doing it—or at least we should.

In our stressful 24/7 world with deadlines and overtime, sleep deprivation is a common problem for many people. Whether you are a student or a professional athlete, society demands us to function at our best and Fatigue Science knows that in order to give our top performance we must be well rested and fully charged.

In 2007, Vancouver-based Fatigue Science was founded with the goal of creating a more effective world by applying science and technology to assist sleep, optimize performance, reduce risk and improve lives.

Fatigue Science understands that scheduling for sleep is not always as simple as closing your eyes. “Studies show that in the United States, 30% of adults sleep less than 6 hours per night,” states, “and 65% of adults have sleep problems at least a few nights a week.”

The new ReadiBand technology is hoping that informative personal data will reduce the risk and improve the quality of sleep. The wrist worn device was first developed in part by the US Military, where functioning through fatigue is a fact of life. Now government professionals use ReadiBand, as well as corporations around the world and even professional sports teams such as the Vancouver Canucks.

The ReadiBand measures day-to-day sleep quality, quantity and timing. The sleek black wristwatch measures and analyzes the wrist movements to distinguish sleep/wake patterns. Data shows that this virtual sleep assessment has 93% accuracy, the same as a sleep lab polysomnography. Statistics gathered from the ReadiBand can then be processed through a patented and validated computer model to evaluate fatigue risk levels.

Busy work schedules are important, but the body clock is not something we can ignore. Fatigue does not only affect workplace performance. Lack of sleep is dangerous in all areas of life. In the last five years, according to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, 21 per cent of motor vehicle collisions have been the cause of fatigue. The result is about 400 deaths and 2,100 serious injuries every year.

To avoid these critical accidents, Fatigue Science also developed a tool to help employers and employees chart their schedules. FAST, or the Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool, is a software application which calculates fatigue risk, reaction time and other variables to help people properly schedule their work and sleep during a course of a week.

Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep to have a fully effective day. To most of us that sounds like a luxury, but sleep should be a requirement—a responsibility. Too often, we sacrifice rest to fit more activities into our day and adjust our sleep pattern on the fly.

Fatigue Science shows that many people are poor at judging and managing their alertness level. Too little or too much sleep can attribute to a less than healthy lifestyle. With the help of Dr. Steve Hursh, who has 23 years of experience at the Pentagon, Fatigue Science created a model by comparing fatigue to blood alcohol content.

Gym memberships, organic diets and now Fatigue Science; there will always be new advancement to healthy living. But as long as we find the balance between work and rest, we can mitigate weariness and continue fulfilling our responsibilities and doing the activities we love to our full capacity.


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