What Does Microsleep Mean?
Microsleep is a brief period of time when a person has inadvertently fallen asleep without being cognizant of it. A microsleep usually lasts between 1 and 30 seconds and is caused by factors such as fatigue, performing repetitive or non-stimulating tasks, or by the body's natural rhythms causing drowsiness before sunrise and during the afternoon.
WorkplaceTesting Explains Microsleep
A microsleep occurs when parts of a person's brain start to sleep and they succumb to falling into a light sleep while in this state. A person who experiences a microsleep will not be aware that it is happening and will exhibit physical signs such as drooping or blinking eyes and body or head jerks. Microsleeps are very dangerous in the workplace when they occur in employees who are operating machinery or vehicles at the time. They can cause injury, death, damage to property, and a drop in productivity. While common causes of microsleep events are often benign, there are more serious conditions for which microsleep events may be symptoms.