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Commercial Driving & Sleep

Are you a commercial truck driver? How often do you drift off behind the wheel? If you’re concerned about your safety and that of other drivers who share the road with you, consider this:

  • Commercial drivers are especially at risk for fatigue-related crashes
  • Truckers get less sleep than they need
  • Truck operators have a higher incidence of sleep apnea

As the leader in diagnosing and treating sleep difficulties in St. Charles, Missouri, Midwest Chest Consultants aims to make the roads safer for truckers – and everyone else. Our sleep doctors are experienced at diagnosing sleep disorders that can affect a driver’s alertness.

As the area’s first and only accredited sleep center, we are skilled not only in diagnosis but also in treatment, resolving sleep disorders and restoring your ability to get restful sleep.

Commercial Drivers at Risk for Fatigue-Related Crashes

Truckers Get Less Sleep Than They Need

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that long-haul truck drivers don’t get the sleep they need to be alert behind the wheel. In the study, truckers didn’t get (or take) their full eight-hour breaks between shifts in one out of every eight trips. When they did get their breaks, they often didn’t spend the time sleeping.

In another study, mandated by Congress, truckers reported getting, on average, less than five hours of sleep per day, far less than what they need.

Truck Operators Have a Higher Incidence of Sleep Apnea

In addition to the lack of sleep and nighttime driving, commercial drivers have a disproportionately high prevalence of sleep apnea

Recent studies have found that as many as 15% of these drivers in the U.S. are affected by this sleep disorder. A study of 600 truck drivers conducted in 1993 concluded that 46% suffered from moderate to severe sleep apnea.

Making the Roads Safer – for Truckers & Everyone Else

Public opinion about truck safety in the U.S. is on the rise. So is public awareness of sleep disorders and the importance of getting sufficient quality and quantity of restorative sleep.

Within the trucking industry, changes have been made specifically to mandate adequate rest periods. Increasingly, companies that hire drivers — and examiners responsible for certifying drivers — are insisting that drivers with known risk factors for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders be evaluated.

While specific mandates are not yet in place, many certifiers send commercial drivers with a high body-mass index (35 or greater) or a neck size greater than 17.5 inches for a sleep study to determine if a clinical sleep disorder is present.

Trouble Staying Awake behind the Wheel? Come See Us
for a Sleep Evaluation

If you need to be evaluated for sleep problems or a clinical sleep disorder, trust the team who’s been trusted for more than a decade. Call Midwest Chest Consultants in St. Charles, Missouri today at (636) 946-1650, or request an appointment online.