Drive Alert, Arrive Safe – Better Sleep Could Cut Serious Road Accidents By A Third
Driving hazards caused by sleepiness highlighted on World Sleep Day
The day also highlights the dangers of drowsy driving which can lead to accidents caused by people suffering next day effects of sleep problems, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and poor concentration.
To help cut the risk of sleepiness while driving, Ware emphasizes the importance of understanding what is needed to ensure wakefulness when driving. “Just as important as knowing how to get a good night of sleep, is learning what it takes to stay awake. These include getting sufficient, quality sleep, having regular bed and rising times, taking regular breaks when driving, and using caffeine judiciously.”
Insomnia, one of the most common sleep complaints has been linked to a significant rise in road traffic accidents, 35% of all accidents are caused by drivers who have not had enough sleep or have not had restorative (quality) sleep. Poor alertness and efficiency, caused by poor quality sleep raise the risk of vehicle or occupational accidents. As a result, tiredness while driving is responsible for a large number of accidents and deaths. People with insomnia are also up to seven times more likely to be involved in work accidents that cause serious injury or death.
A costly global burden
Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population. As well as causing distress to the individual, sleep problems also create significant burden on society. Sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and psychophysiological insomnia are among the most common alterations of sleep. Paradoxically, research suggests that less than a third of people with moderate to severe sleep problems seek professional help for their sleep problems.
Poor quality of sleep or insufficient sleep can also have a negative effect on the health of an individual. In the US it is estimated that direct and indirect costs of insomnia amount to
World Sleep Day partners
World Sleep Day 2009 is sponsored by the World Association of Sleep Medicine. Partners in this year’s celebrations are pharmaceutical companies, H. Lundbeck A/S and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH.
SOURCE World Association of Sleep Medicine