Most people in Texas who work through the night sleep during the day, and they maintain that schedule five days a week. That probably means they spend the other two days trying to conform to the rest of society’s sleep patterns. If that’s the case, they might suffer from a sleep disorder that increases their chances of being involved in a car accident.
Shift work sleep disorder
Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) occurs in individuals who work the “graveyard shift.” SWSD causes interrupted sleep patterns and difficulty falling asleep.
One University of Missouri study found that this chronic condition made drivers 300% more likely to be involved in a car accident if they drove when tired. In comparison, sleep apnea and insomnia cause a 30% increased risk of an automobile accident.
There are a few things you can do to improve your sleep patterns. Here are some suggestions:
- Take a melatonin supplement before sleeping
- Sleep more on days off
- Turn off all the lights
- Reduce the noise level
If you suffer from SWSD, you need to be extra careful when you’re driving. When you start feeling drowsy behind the wheel or start swerving, or you know that you’re often tired after work, here are some tips to help you avoid car accidents:
- Ingest caffeine
- Take prescribed stimulants, such as Nuvigil or Provigil
- Pull over at a rest stop
- Carpool with other workers
- Take a cab or bus home
A chronic sleep disorder is more than an annoyance. You are a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road if you drive when tired.