If you’re getting too little sleep, whether it’s by choice or because of insomnia or some sleep disorder, chances are great that you’re not going to be a hundred percent functional the next day. This includes being less that fully energized, in fact, often being dog tired or downright fatigued.
Not only does sleep deprivation wreak havoc with the challenges of your daily life, whether they be at work or at home, but if you drive while bone weary, you can cause a lot of suffering for yourself and for others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates there are 100,000 automobile accidents and 1,550 deaths caused by driver fatigue each year.
If you have a sleep problem that’s leading to daytime weariness, the obvious route is to find a fix for your sleep issues, even if it means visiting a sleep professional and getting an evaluation. If it’s by personal choice that you’re burning your candles at both ends, then you probably should re-examine your priorities, as sleep deprivation can also result in serious health problems over time, to say nothing of driver fatigue issues.
How do you know if you’re too sleepy to drive?
The National Sleep Foundation says you are probably too drowsy to drive safely if you:
- Have trouble keeping your eyes focused
- Can’t stop yawning
- Can’t remember driving the last few miles
- Are daydreaming and have wandering thoughts
- Have trouble holding your head up
- Are drifting in and out of lanes
You may want to examine alternative methods of getting to work, whether it be by carpooling, public transportation or other possibility. Driver fatigue can be deadly serious, but so too can sleep deprivation to the people experiencing it. Make a resolution to get your sleep issues resolved now, not later. Not only will your health and mental well-being bwin as a result, but so too will those on the highway that can enjoy another safe day behind the wheel.