Studies show that driving while sleepy is almost as dangerous as drunk driving. Do you really want to put your family at risk? Do you want to put yourself and others at risk?
Let’s start with some of the obvious reason why we could be sleepy. The most obvious reason is not getting enough sleep. The big question is why? Loss of sleep could come from poor sleep hygiene, to medical issues from sleep apnea, which closely associated, to acid reflux, or other ailments.
Let’s begin with the simplest actions such as sleep hygiene. Your environment needs to be dark, and it seems when it isn’t dark your body doesn’t get the quality sleep needed. It has been suggested that we cover our digital equipment such as clocks with black tape or it might be easier to wear an eye mask. Keep in mind the room should be cool and taking a relaxing bath is very helpful.
Here are some common reasons why we don’t sleep properly and many don’t even understand this is happening;
a. Sleep apnea; we stop breathing and have very short bouts of being woken up.
b. Acid Reflux; acid and stomach content shoots up like a valcano which burns and in severe cases feels like you are choking. This can be extremely painful and keeps us up for prolong periods. It enters the esophagus, can enter and damage the lungs or shoot all the way up into the mouth and sinuses.
c. Diabetes; Could cause frequent urination thus waking you.
Recommendations for good sleep hygiene;
a. Bedtime needs to be a ritual where you go to sleep and wake up the same time each day, including weekends.
b. Keep the room cool
c. The room should be completely dark, even to the point where the digital equipment such as, clocks are covered over. It is suspected that serotonin levels could be low if the room isn’t dark enough.
d. A warm bath could be helpful in relieving stress, falling asleep, cooling the body.
e. It is important to avoid TV and computer type screens close to bedtime.
Besides treating the cause we need to try and treat the underlying symptoms too. One thing that is very helpful is lifting the head of the bed from 4” – 8” with an under mattress wedge, which is a medically recommended level recommended the American College of Gastroenterology. Many people think that propping themselves up with the use of pillows will help.
Unfortunately, it makes you feel uncomfortable, but worse yet, when your symptoms stem from Acid Reflux using pillows bends you at the waist which could actually force the stomach content up. There is a full explanation in “Sleep Interrupted” written by Dr. Steven Park.
Beds should not be lifted at the head since the legs are no longer perpendicular and can collapse under your weight. Setting it up is difficult as well, and once a lifting mechanism is installed, moving your bed, for such things as cleaning or looking for things, becomes impractical.
Reflux Guard© is a simple product that can aid in the fight of acid reflux, GERD, and other bodily drainage issues; such as sinus issues and puffiness under the eyes.
Finally some eye-opening statistics (Yes, pun intended but these are serious issue.) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that each year at least 100,000 police-reported accidents have occurred due to a direct result of driver fatigue. This results in an estimated 71,000 injuries, 1,550 deaths, and $12.5 billion in monetary costs each year.
Several drowsy drives have received jail time. Settlements in the millions have been awarded to victims against individuals and businesses whose employees were involved in crashes while driving when drowsy.
Bottomline: Don’t you want to take care of yourself and avoid possible dangerous outcomes? The choice is yours.
Also see Feds: No Sleep Apnea Testing for Truckers and Train Engineers
With regard to acid reflux and sleep apnea, this needs to be addressed with your doctor.
This material is for educational and informational purposes only and is not and should not be relied upon or construed as medical, surgical, psychological, or nutritional advice. Please consult your
physician before making any changes to your regimen, exercise or diet program.
Pilot Chesley Sullenbergis – Making a Difference