You are currently viewing Sleep Apnea: Signs and How to Avoid it
  • Post last modified:October 22, 2020
  • Post category:IC/ISP Contractors

Sleep Apnea is a primary concern of the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as it relates to motor vehicle accidents. As every ISP Contractor knows, the importance of reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles is crucial within the industry.

How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?

Major signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can include pauses while you snore (if choking or gasping follows these pauses this is a major sign), as well as fighting fatigue during the day (you may find yourself falling asleep quickly during times of the day when you are not active). Even if you don’t have daytime sleepiness, be sure to talk to your doctor if you have problems breathing while you are sleeping as this can be a major health concern.

Other common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include morning headaches, memory or learning problems, not being able to concentrate, feeling irritable, depressed, having mood swings or personality changes, waking up frequently to urinate, and experiencing a dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up.

How can I prevent myself from getting sleep apnea?

There are many ways to reduce your risk of sleep apnea. Losing weight can play a major role in reducing your risk, as overweight people have extra tissue in the back of their throat that can fall down over the airway and block the flow of air into the lungs while sleeping. Quitting smoking can also help reduce your risk as smoking increases inflammation and fluid retention in your throat and upper airway.

Other preventative measures you can take are to avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives (especially before bedtime because they relax muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing), as well as avoiding caffeine and heavy meals within 2 hours of bedtime and maintaining a regular sleep schedule.

Other Ways to Prevent Sleep Apnea

There are also several changes you can make to the way you sleep that can help prevent sleep apnea. These include sleeping on your side (avoid sleeping on your back because gravity makes it more likely for your tongue and soft tissues to drop and obstruct your airway), propping your head up with an extra pillow, and finally opening your nasal passages as much as you can through the use of a nasal dilator, saline spray, breathing strips, or a neti pot.

The Takeaway

Sleep apnea can have a major impact on truck drivers on both a safety and performance level. If you feel that your sleep apnea is severe or that these tips are not helping you, you may need to see a doctor to discuss further medical treatments. This is not something that you should sit on, make sure you get the medical help you need right away.

We all know how important proper rest is in order to maintain safe driving practices. At Paradiso Insurance, we want to make sure your team has the tools and resources they need to be safe, and help keep claims low. For more information or to hear about other ways in which we can help your ISP