|Falling asleep in the first place you find is a pretty good sign that you are tired!|
November is American Diabetes Month and I will surely address this topic at some point this month but I could not help and be curious about Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, November 2nd to November 9th.
No, this has nothing to do with drinking and then driving but the outcomes of this issue can be comparable! This has to do with poor sleep, which can make us drowsy and not as alert. Driving can become more difficult under these circumstances and potentially lead to an accident.
There are certain groups of people who are more at risk of “Drowsy Driving”:
1. Young adults < 25 (especially males)
2. Occupational risk: Commercial Drivers, Business Travelers, or those with long work hours or shift work.
3. People with undiagnosed/untreated sleep disorders or other medical conditions – some examples include Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Depression, etc.
Some Warning Signs:
1. Heavy eyelids
2. Inability to focus
3. Blinking frequently
4. Missing exits/traffic signs
5. Losing track of your location
6. Restless and Irritable
7. Yawning frequently
8. Drifting from your lane or bumping into curves
The stats are pretty alarming. About 60% of adults have driven while feeling drowsy and about 37% have actually fallen asleep while driving! So we need to make sure that we get enough shut-eye so that we can drive more safely! Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep. Do you get enough?
If you are experiencing any signs of sleepiness/drowsiness and it is not corrected by getting an adequate amount of sleep, make sure you speak to your primary care physician to rule out any underlying disorders.
For more information about Drowsy Driving, please visit http://drowsydriving.org.
Laura Soto, D.O.
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