Do you snore? Do you wake up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep? You may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Good sleep is critical to your health. To make each day a safe, productive one, take steps to make sure you regularly get a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep consists of 4 to 5 sleep cycles. Each cycle includes periods of deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when we dream. As the night goes on, the portion of that cycle that is in REM sleep increases. It turns out that this pattern of cycling and progression is critical for getting quality restorative sleep. If your sleep is interrupted even briefly, it can disrupt this critical cycle. Throughout the night, your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure rise and fall, a process that may be important for cardiovascular health. Hormones released during sleep help repair cells and control the body’s use of energy. These hormone changes can affect your body weight. Although personal needs vary, on average, adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
Sleep Apnea affects people everywhere. Ideally everyone would be tested and treated, but the SleepSafe Drivers Program is driver focused because of the direct impact of drowsy driving on highway safety. We understand – you’re busy and worried that testing/diagnosis will disrupt your work schedule – but we specialize in how to make this easy for you, the driver. Let’s get started.
About Sleep Apnea
Good sleep is as important for maintaining good health as nutrition and exercise. Studies show that people with untreated sleep apnea face a long list of increased health risks including:
- erectile dysfunction
- memory loss
- chronic fatigue
- increased risk of heart attack and stroke
The good news is that sleep apnea has become easy to diagnose and treat, which normalizes these health risks.
What is sleep apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a commonly diagnosed type of Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Obstructive Sleep Apnea typically occurs when the airway in the back of the throat is obstructed, limiting your ability to breathe.
The word apnea simply means no air/breath. Any time your breathing stops for 10 seconds or more, it is considered an apnea.
Who is at risk for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea affects about 6-12% of the overall adult male population, but a remarkable 28-30% of truck drivers. This disproportionate percentage is a clear result of the obesity rate amongst truckers. The majority of people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed therefore fleet drivers are needlessly experiencing compromised health, elevated accident liability and medical expenses.
While most fleets are treating a small number of drivers, studies show that 90% of people who have sleep apnea don’t even know it.
Typical symptoms or conditions that increase the odds of sleep apnea include:
- Neck size greater than 17″ (16″ for women)
- Body Mass Index greater than 30
- Snoring/troubled sleep patterns
- Daytime drowsiness
- Frequent night urination
- Cardiovascular problems
Sleep apnea is a serious medical issue that requires immediate treatment to avoid the inevitable consequences of the disease.