Sleep performance and safety

Sleep and circadian disorders have widespread effects on alertness and other brain functions, leading to increased rates of errors, accidents and injuries, especially in high-risk work environments.

Even in advanced nations where safety can be prioritised, poor alertness causes tens of thousands of serious workplace and road injuries. Currently, it is not possible to accurately measure, monitor, and manage alertness levels.

Monash University is a key participant of the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC). In this collaboration, Turner Institute sleep neuroscientists are identifying markers of alertness such as chemicals in blood, saliva and urine, and using these to develop novel alertness tests.

In this partnership, we are also working with the next generation of systems and tools for alertness management in shift work settings, using interventions such as scheduling, smart lighting, and individualised sleep-health management. These interventions are being assessed by medical and nursing shift workers across two major teaching hospitals in Melbourne and Adelaide.