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Tackling the ‘yawning’ gulf in sleep that puts young workers at risk

Young workers are more likely to experience fatigue so a new technology-based intervention program aims to boost their sleep habits, duration and quality.

The goal is to reduce their propensity for work-related injuries and to boost their health.

The YAWN (Young Adults Working Nights) program is an innovative web-based and app-based fatigue intervention, under evaluation by CQUniversity Senior Research Fellow Dr Jessica Paterson.

“Anticipated outcomes of the YAWN program will be improvements in sleep duration, quality and habits, and decreased fatigue levels,” Dr Paterson says.

“Better fatigue management for young workers will improve health and safety outcomes and mitigate against health problems associated with fatigue and sleep loss, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, type 2 diabetes and poor mental health.”

Dr Paterson says all participants in the YAWN program receive access to an educational website with information about sleep and fatigue.

However, participants in the four-week intervention also receive access to a section of the website where they can log in, answer some questions about their sleep and work behaviours, and receive personal advice regarding their sleep habits, and how they might improve their sleep.

“Intervention participants also get access to a smartphone application that tracks sleep behaviour,” Dr Paterson says.

The YAWN program operates in South Australia. Dr Paterson is based at CQUniversity Adelaide’s Appleton Institute.

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