March 16, 2005 13:25 ET

This St. Patrick's Day We Ask: Who's Drunk... and Who's Sleepy?

LEXINGTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 16, 2005 -- The guy on the next barstool may not have Guinness to blame for his slurred speech and impaired hand-eye coordination. He could be very, very sleepy. Data from CIRCADIAN, a Lexington, MA-based research and consulting firm, confirm a similarity in performance ability between someone who has been awake for 22 consecutive hours and someone with a blood alcohol count of 0.08 -- legally drunk in all 50 states.

And for the 20% of America's working population (about 24 million people) who work long, rotating shifts or irregular hours, fighting sleepiness is a daily battle, leaving them feeling jetlagged at best, and dangerously drowsy at worst.

"Around St. Patrick's Day there's plenty of advocacy -- and rightly so -- about safe and responsible drinking. But it's a good time to also raise awareness of the millions of people who take to the roadways each day, or perform safety-critical jobs, in a state of significant impairment," said Brian O'Neill, a spokesperson for the company.

This news should be of especial importance to employers in shiftwork operations, as fatigue-related workplace or commuter accidents have become a significant costs, risk, and liability of doing business.

About CIRCADIAN: Circadian is the leading international research and consulting firm assisting companies with extended hours operations to improve profits by increasing productivity and reducing the increased costs, risks, and liabilities of human factors. CIRCADIAN's mission is to empower its clients to effectively use extended operations to compete in the global 24/7 economy. Extended hours operations encompass all work environments with irregular schedules, night and evening shifts, or extended hours, typically outside the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Since its incorporation by Dr. Martin Moore-Ede in 1983, more than half the Fortune 1000 has benefited by working with CIRCADIAN. For more information, visit

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