A Debt Costlier than Credit – Drivers Fatigue related Sleep Debt.

Sleep Debt – What is it? And how does it play a lethal role in terms of Drivers Fatigue?

Sleep Debt is defined as the hours of sleep a person requires versus the hours of sleep they actually achieve. In order for any person to function effectively – about eight hours of sleep per night is necessary. When this sleep time is compromised, a sleep debt begins to accumulate, resulting in greater tendencies to fall asleep the next day often while doing important tasks such as operating a motor vehicle and risking instances of drivers fatigue.

Learn the signs of Sleep Debt before you’re in too deep

Not getting enough sleep results in a feeling of drowsiness. You’re tired at any and all times during the day. If in the evening, you are able to fall asleep within 5 minutes of laying down that is sure sign you may be suffering a sleep debt. If you find yourself yawning often throughout the day, and experience difficulty in focusing on tasks and staying alert. You may feel your attention drifting, a burning sensation in the eyes. You’re experiencing slower reactions to things in your environment and cant seem to get comfortable. Irritability is also a sign, general lack of patience and inability regarding attentiveness.

Microsleeps – the murderer behind Drivers Fatigue

Sleep deprived people often also experience what is referred to as “microsleeps” meaning short bursts of sleep in a person who is otherwise awake. These unintended brief episodes of sleep are behind some of the deadliest incidents of drivers fatigue. Defined by a heaviness in the eyelids, nodding or closing of the eyes and head snapping – these symptoms occur commonly while trying to stay awake performing monotonous tasks such as driving. These microsleeps can last anywhere from a few minutes to only a fraction of a second. Over the course of a microsleep of just four seconds, a car driving at 100km/h travels 111 meters completely out of the driver’s control.

How to get out of Sleep Debt

There is only way to pay off the expensive debt of sleep deprivation and eliminate the ensuing hazards such as drivers fatigue that can often times be lethal – and it is quite simple: sleep! Limit blue light screen time exposure in the hours leading up to bedtime, power down and choose a less stimulating activity – take a bath, read a book, meditate, most importantly allow enough time for rest. A full eight hours can make all the difference in the prevention of fatal drivers fatigue related incidents with you behind the wheel. Consider how rested you truly are before setting out on a road journey no matter how far, being in the red on a sleep debt can result in death and injury. If driving is unavoidable, pull to a safe area off road for a nap, or go for a quick walk to temporarily energize. Caffeine and other stimulants do not successfully overcome the symptoms associated with sleep deprivation.