Features  |   December 2018
Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue – Recognizing the Warnings and Finding Solutions
Author Affiliations
  • Grace H. Shih, M.D.
    Committee on Occupational Health
Article Information
Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Sleep Medicine / Features
Features   |   December 2018
Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue – Recognizing the Warnings and Finding Solutions
ASA Monitor 12 2018, Vol.82, 16-19.
ASA Monitor 12 2018, Vol.82, 16-19.
Is fatigue inevitable? It seems rare these days to ask a physician how they are doing and receive a reply other than “tired.” Demands on our time seem never-ending. Attempting to accomplish everything on the proverbial “to do” list and balancing an anesthesiologist’s work schedule, which is often highly variable, unpredictable and usually out of one’s control, precipitates chronic fatigue.
We are not alone. Ten percent of adults are affected by insomnia. The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 defines this as “difficulty with sleep initiation, difficulty maintaining sleep, or early-morning waking with an inability to return to sleep that causes clinically significant distress or impairment in activities and occurs at least three nights per week for three months or more” in individuals with adequate opportunity for sleep and symptoms not explained by other medical or mental conditions.1  However, a much larger group of individuals has sleep disorders that do not meet insomnia criteria. In fact, 56 percent of Americans reported sleep problems over the previous year.2 
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