Truck drivers have a demanding job that sometimes makes getting good quality sleep hard. Sleep disorders in truck drivers are very common. They have many of the risk factors associated with sleep disorders including driving long distances, alone, and often at night. Long monotonous roads combined with fatigue can be dangerous for the driver and everyone else on the road. The three groups that are at most risk for sleep disorders are drivers, shift workers, and teenagers.
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome affect many drivers. Each can cause extreme fatigue and that is not a good combination with driving. Driving while drowsy can be very dangerous. Approximately seventy-one percent of truck accidents are caused by sleep apnea and they are six times more at risk for an accident. They can become tired, began to swerve, and eventually lose control of their vehicle. Driving a large commercial vehicle requires precision. Drivers must be alert at all times and have a quick reaction time if problems with the vehicle or on the road.
Sleep apnea is a very common disorder among truckers. This condition occurs when the airway between the nose and lungs becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep. A person experiencing this disorder will wake many times gasping for air and this prevails them from getting adequate sleep cycles. They will wake up still very fatigued and will not remember the episodes that occurred. Because of this, sleep apnea is often left untreated and can become a serious health risk for many people.
Restless leg syndrome results from the body not producing enough dopamine which affects reflexes. It can be caused by other medical conditions or be inherited. Things such as daytime tiredness, hypertension, depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and substance abuse can be linked with this condition. Someone experiencing restless leg syndrome will have difficulty falling asleep due to a constant urge to move their legs or arms that gets worse at night and during sleep. The uncomfortable feeling can be temporarily relieved by moving around.
Demanding driving schedules and other existing sleep disorders can bring on insomnia. Psychological reasons include anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder that makes a person more susceptible to insomnia. Treatment may require medical intervention, behavioral therapy, and psychological therapy. Other disorders need to be treated in order to remove all causes and cure the condition.
If you are a driver who is experiencing sleep problems, it is time to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Fatigue due to a sleep disorder can cause you to drive drowsy, not be as alert, and have a much slower reaction time. These are not good qualities when driving any vehicle. Many trucking accidents are caused by sleep disorders and can be fatal to the driver as well as everyone around them. Even if you are just a little tired during the day, it does not hurt to be evaluated for a sleeping disorder. Early diagnosis will prevent other illnesses and help ensure that you reach your destination and return home safely every time.