Truck Driver Jobs: Tips for Sleep Apnea

Landing and keeping good paying truck driver jobs requires drivers to stay healthy and alert. Drivers who find they are still tired after a night’s rest and tend to doze at the wheel are a danger to themselves and to others. The problem could be sleep apnea, and there are ways to effectively treat it.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain—and the rest of the body—might not get enough oxygen.

Sleep apnea is a serious concern for any truck driver. Jobs requiring long hours of mental alertness—like truck driving—will be hampered by sleep apnea because it does not allow the driver’s body to fully rest and recuperate during sleep periods.

What are some of the signs of sleep apnea? There are several possible symptoms, most notably snoring. Here is a list of things to look for:

  • Snoring, interrupted by pauses in breathing
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive daytime drowsiness, sleepiness, or fatigue
  • Grogginess or morning headaches
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Restless sleep Irritability
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Poor judgment or concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Depression

Any of these symptoms or combinations of symptoms could indicate sleep apnea. They might also indicate other serious medical issues detrimental to truck driver jobs. If you are experiencing them, consult your physician.

What are the greatest risk factors associated with sleep apnea? Men are most likely to develop sleep apnea, but it occurs in women as well. Being overweight or over the age of 40 increases the chances of experiencing sleep apnea. Having a large neck size is also a risk factor. A large neck size for men is over 17 inches, 16 inches for women.

Sleep apnea and dozing at the wheel puts those with truck driver jobs at risk for more than just an accident. Sleep apnea increases the likelihood of high blood pressure and increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack. It is also commonly associated with diabetes.

Sleep apnea can be treated. The first step is to participate in a sleep disorder study to determine your level of sleep apnea. A doctor then will most likely prescribe one of several styles of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines to assist in keeping airways open while you sleep, thereby providing a deep restful sleep.

Millis Transfer provides exceptional truck driver jobs to exceptional truck drivers. We want you to have a long, successful and healthy career. To learn more, visit our website or give us a call at 800-937-0880.

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