Fatigue affects our ability to fly. For example, it can impair memory, judgment, concentration, vision, and coordination. An overwhelming desire to sleep is the most pronounced symptom of fatigue. The key to recognizing and combating fatigue is self-assessment—knowing your personal signs of fatigue, actively looking out for them, and making safe decisions. Consistent, uninterrupted, adequate sleep allows the body to rest and recover. But traveling, staying up late, aging, and various medical conditions can influence how well we sleep.
This safety spotlight examines factors leading to fatigue and how to keep it from catching up with you in the cockpit.