Sleep and Driving
Sleep & Driving
A growing public health concern in many countries is the number of traffic accidents attributable to sleepiness. Drowsiness has same level of impairment as driving under the influence of alcohol; and like alcohol consumption, people seldom perceive the degree of their own impairment. The best estimate is that roughly 25% of fatal accidents are caused by sleep debt. The cost to society of these tragedies is extraordinarily high.
A sleep-deprived individual may be able to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel, but motor coordination, reaction times and judgment are usually compromised significantly. A coffee jolt (or several) will offset sleepiness temporarily, but the safest approach is to stop the vehicle and take a nap.
Unfortunately there are no sleep-related counterparts to tests that measure blood alcohol levels. That’s why certain professions (professional drivers and airline pilots, to name a few) have regulations that limit operational hours. As well, some states go so far as to screen professional drivers for obstructive sleep apnea or hypopnea, a condition that causes daytime sleepiness.
The best approach for society seems to be ongoing education with repeating public warnings about the dangers of driving while drowsy.
How Will SleepRate Help You?
SleepRate measures and reports the quantity and quality of sleep you receive. If you feel you aren’t getting enough restorative sleep, SleepRate will make personalized recommendations to help you sleep better. If SleepRate suspects that a medical condition is impacting your sleep, it will recommend a visit to a physician.