Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours
Pressure for Sleep
Pressure for sleep builds as awake time increases (see Figure 1).
The pressure goes down during sleep, reaching a low after a full night of good-quality sleep.
Sometimes the body produces a higher drive for sleep, resulting in a longer, deeper sleep. This can happen, for example,
- When the immune system is fighting an infection
- During a physically and mentally demanding experience such as deployment
The dotted line in Figure 1 shows sleep pressure continues to build if sleep does not occur. This may result in more drowsiness and fatigue the longer you are awake.