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Nurses working extended shifts, are tired at work and sleep little likely to drive drowsy
Date:12/1/2007

out to be drowsy. The survey was coordinated with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Drowsy driving can be prevented by becoming educated on the importance of sleep and the risks involved with taking the wheel while feeling fatigued.

There are two main causes of drowsy driving:

  • Sleep restriction
    Persons getting less than the recommended seven-to-eight hours of sleep each night are more likely to feel tired the following day, which can ultimately affect their cognizance behind the wheel. Not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis can create sleep debt and lead to chronic sleepiness over time. While some factors, including working at a job that requires long hours and familial responsibilities, are beyond a persons control, other reasons for sleep restriction represent a lifestyle choice. This includes sleeping less to have more time to work, study, socialize or participate in other activities.

  • Sleep fragmentation
    Sleep fragmentation causes an inadequate amount of sleep and can negatively affect a persons functioning during the daytime. Sleep fragmentation can have internal and external causes. The primary internal cause is sickness, including untreated sleep disorders. External factors that can prevent a persons ability to have a full, refreshing night of sleep include noise, children, bright lights and a restless bed partner.

Drowsy driving is the direct cause of approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes annually, resulting in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses, according to the NHTSA.

On average, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well-rested.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), people can avoid becoming drowsy while driving by following these tips:

  • Get enough sleep
    AASM recommends that adults ge
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Contact: Jim Arcuri
jarcuri@aasmnet.org
708-492-0930
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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