Sleep. When you get all you need, it is an easy topic to ignore. However, when it’s missing or insufficient, the effects can be far reaching, and even fatal. Especially in the trucking industry where drivers are behind the wheel for much of any given day (or night), and not getting an adequate amount of sleep can be detrimental. Drowsiness has the ability to slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause of 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S.
Because the stakes are high, it’s important we shine a light on Sleep Awareness Week, launched in 1998 by the National Sleep Foundation. It begins at the start of daylight saving time (this year, March 14th) when most Americans lose an hour of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days. Sleep deprivation affects more than just being on the road, there are other long-term health issues that can arise.
Don’t fret, sleep practices can be improved with beneficial changes and new routines.
So, for your own safety and the safety of others, use this as a reminder to assess your sleep habits and truly allow yourself the time to rest. There’s no better time to start than the present. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour as Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday at 2am!