Have you ever woken up to start your day and not known how you were going to drive without falling asleep? It’s not safe to drive under the sleepy influence, but some people do it anyway.
Recently, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety monitored more than 3,500 people in six different US locations between October 2010 and December 2013. They put cameras in vehicles as well as other equipment to gather their data. In 701 crashes, drowsiness was a factor in 8.8% to 9.5%! In crashes that resulted in significant property damage, airbag deployment, or injury, sleepiness was a 10.6% to 10.8% factor!
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that drowsiness is the last step before falling asleep. So, if you drive while drowsy, there is a chance you can fall asleep, risking the lives of you and others.
Back in 2012, the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that drowsy driving carried as much risk as drunk driving. Other studies have found that sleep deprivation can lead to poor hand-eye coordination. Performance can be equal to that of someone who has ingested alcohol or even worse!
So, just how does lack of sleep lead to drowsy driving? Beyond the obvious thought of “you’re tired and can’t keep your eyes open,” there’s actually a lot your body goes through when you’re not getting enough good, deep sleep.
Give it (your body) a rest!
Lack of sleep can have serious effects on your body. According to one study, missing even 1.5 hours of sleep could have an impact on your amount of alertness. Other effects include:
- memory issues
- mood changes and toll on mental health
- thinking and concentration issues
- weakened immunity
- poor balance
Constant sleep trouble can even lead to a risk of diabetes, heart disease and even high blood pressure. It might seem a little crazy, but sleep really matters! It plays an important role in keeping your central nervous system functioning properly.
While you sleep, your brain and body go into a sort of maintenance time, so when you don’t get that time to rest and recuperate, your brain and body don’t have time to gear up and prepare. Your immune system produces infection-fighting chemicals and your brain forms new pathways to store information, while you sleep. Sleep seems a little different now, right? You need to give your body time to relax and maintain itself.
In the case of drowsy driving, you’re essentially driving a vehicle while impaired. Your reaction-time might be decreased as well as your awareness and senses. Things you might respond to on a regular day with a well-rest night (like a car suddenly stopping) might be trouble for you if you didn’t sleep well the night before.
So, hit the hay!
Get Some Superfood Help
It’s so easy to simply say, “get more sleep,” but some of us have issues relaxing and getting some shut eye. Here’s how.
- Increase melatonin naturally (and deliciously) with Apothe-Cherry, tart cherry extract
- Support proper sleep cycles with Ionic Elements and Relax Capsules
- Try Relax Capsules, with tart cherry extract and passiflora
Go to bed, sleepy head!
Read more about drowsy driving: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/health/drowsy-driving-crashes-study/index.html
Read more about the consequences of lack of sleep: https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body