Truck driving is a tiring job which often entails extended hours and requires the driver to remain alert and react quickly. A driver can be on the highway for several days with their only rest staying at a truck stop or on the side of the street in their cabins. Lack of sleep could be a hazard to the driver and other people on the road.
Additionally many truck drivers push the limits and drive more hours per day than is actually safe to get to their unload areas more quickly so they can get a new load, make more money, or enjoy a short vacation while waiting for their next assignment.
Sleep disorders make driving more dangerous and really should be treated immediately. Many companies are implementing programs that help detect and treat sleep disorders for that safety of their drivers and also to maintain good productivity.
Sleep apnea is very widespread among truck drivers. This disorder is caused by the airway between your nose and lungs partially closing or collapsing while asleep at the airway in the throat. When sleeping, the muscles that control the airway become relaxed allowing this to happen. A partially closed airway could cause very loud snoring along with a closed airway may prevent the sufferer from breathing to have an extended period.
Symptoms include pauses in breathing, loud snoring, choking or gasping while sleeping, concentration issues, moodiness, and irritability. This is often a very dangerous disorder and should be treated the moment it’s detected, though 80% of all sleep disorders go unnoticed. A regular physician can determine if sleep apnea exists by looking at one’s health background and performing an examination, and a sleep study/sleep test can confirm.
Sleep apnea has no cure. The only real solution is drastic weight loss and exercise. Some may opt for painful surgery, getting a CPAP which is a life-long commitment once you use it, or an oral appliance. Additionally, sleeping on one’s side can help quite a bit. ( ref: http://copeministries.org/the-top-natural-sleep-aid-i-chose-to-stop-snoring-cpap-alternative/one-sleep-apnea-mouthpiece-to-rule-them-all/)
Truck drivers with untreated sleep problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea, are a serious threat privately and to others that are traveling the highway system. Truck driver weariness is the reason for more than 90 thousand automobile accidents as well as over 1,500 fatalities every year, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports how the cost of drowsy driving is $12.4 billion every year.
An untreated truck driver includes a Situational Effectiveness that’s something like a car owner having a Blood Alcohol Content level of .06 to .08. As you can tell, sleep apnea in the trucking market is an issue for everyone.
This is actually of deep concern that drivers are having sleep apnea frequently under report or play down signs or symptoms such as normal sleepiness and also loud night breathing. The truck driving way of life is usually just limited physical activity, high-fat foodstuff and also erratic activities like heavy drinking and occasional partying. But while the truck driving life style isn’t the cause of the disease, nevertheless it contributes considerably to it.
The obesity rate in truck drivers is twice the norm, and over a 1/3rd of all Americans are considered overweight as-is. Jump-rope, lifting weights, sprints and jogging are good options for truck drivers or those with nomadic lifestyles. Additionally deep breathing exercises while driving, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol and caffeine can contribute to reduced snoring.
Sleep apnea can also be a reason they deny a trucker his or her CDL (commercial driver license), so it really is in the best interest of the operator to get rid of their snoring problem asap. Fortunately for truck drivers an oral appliance or CPAP can be taken on the road.