Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving

Many people who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) feel excessively sleepy during the day. This sleepiness can increase their risk for driving accidents.

Sleepiness can affect alertness, concentration and reaction times.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has tips to avoid driving drowsy:

· Get enough sleep
JJJJJ -Sleep seven to eight hours each night
· Take breaks while driving
JJJJJ -Pull off at rest areas and take 15 to 20 minute naps when feeling sleepy
· Do not drink alcohol
JJJJJ -Alcohol can further impair a person’s ability to stay awake and make decisions
JJJJJ -SleepEducation has an interesting post on the effects sleep loss and alcohol can have on OSA patients.
· Do not drive late at night
JJJJJ -Avoid driving after midnight

Most importantly, treat your apnea. Sleep apnea stops a person from getting restorative sleep. But this condition can be easily treated. People with mild to moderate OSA can visit a dentist in their area to get fitted for an oral appliance.

Key stats on drowsy driving:

· Nine out of 10 police officers have reported stopping a driver who they thought was drunk but was actually drowsy
· Eighty thousand people fall asleep at the wheel each day
· More than 250,000 sleep-related motor vehicle accidents occur each year
· An estimated 20 percent of all serious transportation injuries on the nation’s highways are related to sleep

Learn more about Drowsy Driving at the AADSM Web site.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.