Sleep disorders undetected in truckies

From 7 News article: Sleep disorders undetected in truckies

“A long-haul truck driver who caused a fatal collision was later diagnosed with a sleep disorder that affects up to 50 per cent of the industry and goes undiagnosed in most cases.”

“They’ve done independent studies that show up to half of all heavy-vehicle drivers suffer from some form of sleep apnoea.”

“The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) said sleep apnoea can increase the risk of a crash by between two and seven times.”

It is worrying to know that many heavy-vehicle truck drivers are suffering from sleep apnoea at night, which if untreated can result in drowsiness, slowed reflexes and a lack of energy during the day.

Not to over simplify the sleeping problems in truck drivers, but we can guess that many truckies are not eating the best of food, (if truck stops are anything to go by) and are often away days at a time from a decent home-cooked meal. This can be adding to the sleep and breathing problems as well as weight problems. High sugar, high starch and highly processed foods are known to cause reactions in the body resulting in blocked and stuffy noses and elevated breathing rate – not conducive to good breathing or good sleep.  If you can barely breathe through you nose during the day, you have next to no hope at night. And mouth-breathing increases your risk of sleep apnoea.

by Tess Graham

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