Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wishing You Safe Holiday Travels

Turkey’s tryptophan is not the only culprit of Thanksgiving sleepiness. This holiday, make sure to get enough restful sleep before hitting the roads.

Eighty to 90 percent of people who have sleep apnea do not know they have it. Their undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea gives them a higher risk for driving accidents.

It’s a good idea for anyone who has excessive daytime sleepiness to get screened for apnea.

Many people think that they get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night. But people with sleep apnea repeatedly wake up during the night to breathe, often not remembering these arousals. This fragmented sleep leads to daytime fatigue and dangerous driving conditions.

Truck drivers should especially be aware of their high risk for sleep apnea and know the signs of sleep apnea.

WALB News recently posted a newscast on driving safely this Thanksgiving.

In the report, Samuel Bledsoe, a long-time trucker, shared why he does not drive drowsy. “Late freight is better than scattered freight,” he said - a good motto to live by.

In October, this blog reported on the new safety recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB would like all truck drivers to get screened for sleep apnea.

To keep the roads safe, some trucking companies already require that their employees get screened and treated for sleep apnea.

Whether you are a trucker, or just headed for some homemade cooking, here are tips to avoid drowsy driving.

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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.