Michael D. Shear wrote in the Washington Post last week about the extreme hours the Obama administration was putting in – given the magnitude of the tasks they were facing and taking on. He added this word of warning:
One study conducted for the British Parliament found that “mental fatigue affects cognitive performance, leading to errors of judgement, microsleeps (lasting for seconds or minutes), mood swings and poor motivation.” The effect, it found, is equal to a blood alcohol level of .10 percent – above the legal limit to drive in the United States.
Tom Ricks ridiculed what he characterized as the “whining” of the Obama staffers in the piece – and I can see why he is annoyed. But I think fatigue can be a serious issue – especially when people are responsible for doing so much.
[Image by me. It’s supposed to demonstrate the intoxicating effect of fatigue.]