FROM THE CAPTAIN'S WINDOW
Stories on Maritime Leadership
Maritime Leadership Hacks: Keeping Watch with the Smart Watch
'We've been merging with tools since the beginning of human evolution, and arguably, that's one of the things that makes us human beings.'
Taking care of our health is a must for any leader. This will always be true, though there are new ways to track how well we are doing it. After all, you cannot improve what you cannot measure.
Lack of sleep is a big leadership killer. the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch reported that 'a third of all groundings involved a fatigued officer alone on the bridge at night'. Take for example the grounding of the Lysblink Seaways (MAIB report no. 25/2015). We all know the days we are irritable and moody when we haven’t had enough sleep. We get into an unhelpful state of mind which could cause us to make wrong decisions.
Enter the smart watch. I use one, and I like it. A few of my seafarer friends- some use it, some don’t. And not all of them leverage the smart watch for all its benefits.
One of the the most useful function is the sleep tracker. This is how it interprets my sleep from the previous night. You can see how I have cycled between the REM and non-REM sleep, and overall it looks I’ve been doing Ok for my age. It’s important - during the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. Maritime professionals need also be aware that if the REM sleep is repeatedly interrupted or shortened, then longer REM “rebound sleep” tends to occur at the next opportunity in compensation (instead of slowly moving through the various stages of non-REM sleep first, the sleeper slips quickly into REM sleep, and stays there longer than usual). There are also long-term effects to chronic poor sleep- the risk of gaining weight, and becoming more prone to cardiovascular disease, infections, and certain types of cancer. The sleep tracker can help warn you when you aren’t getting enough sleep so you can prepare for sleep better next time.
The sleep tracker can help us take intentional steps towards improving our sleep quality
There are also other helpful features in the smart watch. You can track your daily calorie burn and cardio activity. Apps like At Work app can be used to record your work hours. Dictate notes when you are doing a tank inspection (in intrinsically safe environments). Set alarms to make sure you wake up in time for your next cargo watch.
Of course, it also tells time.
How else do you think smart watch can help mariners lead smartly?
Here's video link to the HE Alert Video on Fatigue:
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