The study of sleep deprivation is extremely important in many regards. Humans don't perform at peak levels without adequate sleep. It will affect you not only physically but mentally as well. There are many reasons behind sleep deprivation but the reality is there is a correlation between the amount of sleep one gets and their overall level of performance. Fire fighters are one of the highest at risk careers for sleep deprivation.
There is a great video (choose New Video 2) and report that illustrates the background basics of sleep patterns and the health and performance effects of sleep deprivation. They are a project that was supported by a cooperative agreement between the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFC) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA), with assistance from the faculty of Oregon Health & Science University.
Click here to view The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Fire Fighters and EMS Responders.
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