Editors: Salim Surani, Shyamsunder Subramanian

Sleep & Safety

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $123
Printed Copy: US $98
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-1-60805-390-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-271-4 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2011
DOI: 10.2174/97816080527141110101


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that upto 4 percent of all fatal crashes are caused by drowsy driving and as many as 100,000 patients deaths per year may be due to fatigue related medical errors by doctors and nurses in the United States.

These problems of sleepiness, fatigue, and the contributions of inadequate sleep and night work, to human error and accidents have high costs in both lives lost and economic impact.

This e-book covers the physiology of sleep, the pathophysiology of sleep deprivation, the relationship to daytime alertness and fatigue, the relevance of sleep-related fatigue in various industry and occupational settings and its importance as a public safety issue. The e-book should serve as a useful reference to readers interested in sleep research and public health and safety management.

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Science Edition, Web of Science, BIOSIS Previews, Scopus, EBSCO.


In the late 1800s, an industrialist and industrialized nation realized the benefits of shift work. The invention of the light bulb in 1879 by Thomas Edison increased the capacity of human beings to work around the clock, henceforth defying the body’s circadian rhythm.

Shift work was thought to be an excellent way to increase production and meet consumers’ demands, and nowhere else was this more apparent than in the manufacturing and steel industries, as well as several other industries in which machines were capable of functioning 24 hours a day. Running such expensive machinery all day and night led to the rise of essential satellite services such as law enforcement and health care, while the use of fire fighters led to the development of shift work and the associated side effects of sleep deprivation and fatigue. This, in turn, eventually resulted in an increase in both errors and accidents, and the same trend continues today as military and aviation personnel are exposed to more stressors due to an increase in transatlantic flights, several wars, and everincreasing requirements for constant surveillance.

In this e-book, we discuss the normal circadian rhythm physiology and the pathophysiology of sleep deprivation. We also investigate the consequences of sleep deprivation and shift work on health, the military, aviation personnel, and the elderly, as well as safety among drivers and members of the military. We also address sleep issues and safety laws pertaining to military and aviation pilots. Finally, we discuss the legislative issues we already have and those that need to be undertaken in order to make our society safer.

This is one of the very few books that has brought up these sensitive issues our society is facing. We hope the readers will enjoy and benefit from it and that it will help make our society safer.

Salim Surani
Texas A&M University


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