Truck driving is a grueling job which often entails extended hours and requires the trucker to remain alert and be able to 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 road. Insomnia can be a hazard to the driver and anyone else on the road. Sleep problems make driving more dangerous and should be treated immediately. A lot of companies are implementing programs that help detect and treat sleep disorders for that safety of the drivers and also to maintain good productivity.
Sleep apnea is very widespread amongst truck drivers. This disorder is brought on by the airway between your nose and lungs partially closing or collapsing while asleep. When sleeping, the muscles that control the airway become relaxed allowing this to occur. A partially closed airway may cause very loud snoring and a closed airway will prevent the sufferer from breathing to have an extended period of time. Symptoms include pauses in breathing, loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, concentration issues, mood swings and irritability. This can be a very dangerous disorder and really should be treated as soon as it’s detected. A normal physician can determine if sleep apnea exists by taking a look at one’s health background and performing an examination.
Insomnia is another disorder that may affect a truck driver and their performance. This disorder occurs when someone cannot get proper sleep over a long period of time. It may be caused by fatigue, psychological, and physiological problems. Insomnia is much more common when a person is stressed, anxious, or depressed. Symptoms include difficulty drifting off to sleep, staying asleep, daytime fatigue, depression, anxiety, and alterations in mood. To deal with this disorder, the reason must first be determined after which treated by medication or another method.
Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS has become a far more common sleep disorder as well. RLS is normally inherited and is caused by low levels of a chemical called dopamine which the brain uses to transmit messages to other areas of the body. A person who has RLS will have sleep problems because of discomfort and pain within the arms and legs. Sometimes their arms and legs will twitch involuntary and stop sleep too. Symptoms include an overwhelming urge to move legs and discomfort within the arms and legs. The symptoms are worse through the night and can often be temporarily relieved with rubbing, massage, or movement. Normally medicine is given for treatment.
Other disorders such as narcolepsy, circadian rhythm disorders, and snoring can cause lack of sleep along with other issues too. When not treated, these kinds of disorders can make unsafe conditions for that driver and everybody they share the street with. They can also cause other serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and even possibly heart disease. It is crucial to recognize sleep disorder types and symptoms. Any driver who thinks they have a sleeping problem should see their personal doctor or consult their employer for help. This way their life in addition to others will not be affected because of something that could have been treated.
Common sleep problems such as sleep apnea can greatly impair a truck driver’s capability to handle and maintain their vehicle properly and safely on the road. Many of these disorders have noticeable symptoms. If your driver believes they might be struggling with a sleeping disorder, they should consult their physician or employer to get the required testing and treatment. Visit FusionSleep.com for additional info on sleep problems.