Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Driving

Effects Of Sleep Deprivation – How Sleep Deprivation Effects Your Driving

In Sleep Disorders by JGrahamLeave a Comment

Sleep deprivation (commonly known as tired driving) is the operation of the motor vehicle while being cognitively damaged by a lack of sleep. Lack of sleep is a major cause of vehicle accidents, and it can damage the human brain as much as alcohol can.

Countless studies have indicated that anywhere from 16 – 60% of accidents may be due to lack of sleep. In the United States, it is estimated that over 250,000 drivers fall asleep every day while driving. It has been estimated that approximately 20% of vehicle accidents have sleep deprivation as the root cause.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Tuesday that engineers falling asleep at the controls led to two recent New York City-area commuter train crashes that killed one person and injured more than 200 others. They have since changed their policies to require all train and bus operators and locomotive engineers to be screened for obstructive sleep apnea and if they test positive, to receive treatment before being allowed to operate again.

Sleep deprivation on driving has been proven to affect driving ability in four areas.

  • It damages coordination.
  • It damages judgment ability
  • It damages memory
  • It causes longer reaction times.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Brain

Research has proven that sleep deprivation, affects the driver’s ability by impairing coordination, causing longer reaction times and impaired judgment. Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep. Most people need 6-8 hours of sleep to keep healthy. In this world today, it is hard to get that required amount of sleep. Many people force themselves to carry out their daily routines on a few hours of sleep.

Insufficient sleep can be manifested in many ways like an exhausted immune system, weakened thinking abilities, and intensified stress levels. There have been a number of studies recently that link sleep deprivation with an increased risk of developing diabetes, obesity, heart diseases and cancer.

What Are The Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Signs that you may have sleep deprivation include irritability, slow reaction times, slurred speech, depression and heart disease. Many times this condition goes undiagnosed. Another indication is if you are able to lie down at night and fall asleep in 5 minutes or less.

While some people believe this is excellent, having the ability to go to sleep rapidly. It typically indicates that you are simply without enough sleep or a good enough restful sleep. Lots of people who are denied of sleep typically discover that alcohol actually impacts them more so.  When some individuals are not well rested, they are more vulnerable to feeling the results of consuming liquor more sleep deprivation consist of snoring, suffering from leg cramps or experiencing those tingly sensations.

Can Sleep Deprivation Causes Anxiety

Sleep deprivation can cause also cause anxiety disorders. Research shows that some form of sleep disruption is present in nearly all psychiatric disorders. Studies also show that people with chronic insomnia are at high risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

Does Sleep Deprivation Causes Weight Gain

Weight gain can also be an issue because lack of sleep damages our judgment, we are incapable of feeling full and satisfied after a meal. This leads to overeating and weight gain. Weight fluctuations are common in people who do not get enough amount of sleep.

There are two hormones that your body uses to control weight: Ghrelin and Leptin. Leptin is a protein that regulates and controls appetite and Ghrelin are responsible for stimulating your appetite.Both are supposed to tell your brain when you are full. An estimated 65% of Americans are overweight or obese and 62% of the population report that they do not get 8 hours of sleep.


It is important that you and your doctor determine the root cause of your sleep deprivation because it will help to identify the type of treatment. Once you feel like you feeling sleep deprivation, immediately get in touch with your doctor. And have yourself diagnosed, so that your physician can quickly advise the right treatment for you.


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