Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Improve Your Sleep HabitsToo Much Time in the Sun? Skin Patch Might TellMore Green Space May Mean a Healthier HeartWorking More, But Getting Less Done?What Couch Potatoes Don't Know Can Hurt ThemAre You Better at Remembering Faces or Names? The Surprising AnswerA Healthier Diet, a Healthier You1 in 4 U.S. Adults Sits More Than 8 Hours a DayYet Another Selfie? You Might Be a NarcissistAll That Social Media May Boost Loneliness, Not Banish ItBaby Boom or Baby Bust? What Nation-by-Nation Population Trends RevealEven a 2-Minute Walk Counts in New Physical Activity GuidelinesHealth Tip: Keep Toxins from Your HomeAHA: Poor Teeth-Brushing Habits Tied to Higher Heart RiskSleepy Drivers Involved in 100,000 Crashes a YearThink Genes Dictate Your Life Span? Think AgainA Childhood Full of Happy Memories Might Benefit Your Health TodaySunday Is 'Fall Back' Time for Your Clock -- Sleep Experts Offer TipsDecorative Contact Lenses a Danger at Halloween, Any TimeAHA: Can Daylight Saving Time Hurt the Heart? Prepare Now for SpringFacebook Posts May Hint at DepressionHere's Something to Sleep OnDrowsy Driving as Risky as Drunk DrivingScience Says 'Hug It Out'What's Your Savings Personality?Scientists Developing Blood Test for Drowsy DrivingRegular Bedtime Might Be Key to Better Health'Liking Gap' Might Stand in Way of New FriendshipsWhich of the 4 New 'Personality Types' Are You?Slaying the Couch-Potato MindsetScientists Finally Get Around to Finding Procrastination's Home in the BrainFor a Healthier Heart, Stick to 6 to 8 Hours of SleepTake a Vacation, Your Heart Will Thank YouTaking a Stand at WorkCellphone Use Puts Pedestrians Off-BalanceSleep Deprivation May Play Role in 'Global Loneliness Epidemic'Dining Out With Smartphones Isn't AppetizingExercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues … to a PointSnap, Polish, Post: Why Selfies May Be Bad for Your HealthHealth Tip: Have a Safer SummerShield Yourself From the Summer SunIt's Hot Outside: How to Stay Safe When Thermometers Rise3-Pronged Approach to Cancer PreventionYour Sunscreen May Not Be as Protective as You ThinkAlmost 1,300 Genes Seem Tied to Academic SuccessGreen Spaces a Mental Balm for City DwellersYour Earliest Memories May Be FalseDoes Dirty Air Cancel Out the Benefits of Exercise?Health Tip: Map Your Way to Better HealthGreen Space: A Gateway to Better Health?
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Exercise
Emotional Resilience

Even When You Think You're Not Sleepy, Your Car Crash Risk Rises

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 12th 2018

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, April 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You might be a drowsy driver without knowing it, and new research finds that can make you more dangerous on the road.

People who suffer from chronic sleep apnea are more likely to crash, the study showed: For those with severe apnea, the increased risk hit 123 percent, while those with mild to moderate sleep apnea saw their risk go up by 13 percent.

And you don't have to have sleep apnea to be more precarious behind the wheel: Among those who don't suffer from sleep apnea but only get six hours of rest a night, the risk of a crash is 33 percent higher than if they sleep eight hours every night, the researchers added.

"In addition to its importance for cardiovascular and metabolic health, getting a good night's sleep is important to reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Gottlieb. He's an associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital's division of sleep and circadian disorders, in Boston.

Not getting enough sleep affects your thinking and reaction time and can increase the risk for crashes, he explained.

While people who suffer from chronic sleep problems often don't think they are drowsy, their mental processes -- and their driving skills -- are often impaired, Gottlieb said.

"In those with mild sleep apnea, the increased crash risk was seen in those who perceived themselves to be sleepy. However, people with severe sleep apnea had more than twice the crash risk of those without sleep apnea, and this risk was just as great in those who did not perceive themselves to be sleepy as in those who did feel sleepy," he said.

"Perhaps most important," he added, "this increased crash risk was seen particularly among individuals who did not perceive themselves to be sleepy."

Sleep apnea causes breathing to stop and start during sleep, reducing the quality of sleep and increasing sleepiness.

About one-sixth of American women and one-third of men suffer from sleep apnea, Gottlieb and his colleagues said.

Lack of proper sleep is also common, with about 25 to 30 percent of U.S. adults getting six or fewer hours of sleep a night, the study authors added.

For the study, the researchers collected data on more than 3,200 men and women between the ages of 40 and 89 who took part in the Sleep Heart Health Study, conducted by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The findings were published recently in the journal BMC Medicine.

"This study is further evidence that drowsy driving is a significant and deadly issue on our roads, and one not getting enough attention," said Kara Macek, senior director of communications and programs at the Governors Highway Safety Association. "Far too many Americans aren't sleeping enough."

A 2016 study from the association estimated that nearly 84 million Americans are sleep-deprived, which translates to millions of tired people behind the wheel, Macek said.

"We know that driving drowsy is comparable to driving drunk and that going just 21 hours without sleep is similar to having a 0.08 blood alcohol level, which is the legal limit," she said. "Yet, drowsy driving doesn't have nearly the social stigma as drunk driving.

"What we really need is a cultural shift putting increased value on sleeping enough and sleeping well," Macek said.

More information

To learn more about drowsy driving, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.