There have been many documented medical issues resulting from sleep apnea, but as CBS news reports, erratic driving is now linked to sleep deprivation.
“Worse lane position deviation is a marker of poor driving performance and this is significantly worse in sleep apnea patients who fail the simulator as compared to controls [people without a sleep disorder],” said study leader Dr. Akshay Dwarakanth.
The study found that people with sleeping issues were much more likely to fail driving tests than people without the disorder. The most prevalent issue within these test subjects was lane deviation, which could result in serious roadway dangers.
Dwarakanth and fellow researchers looked at 129 adults with untreated sleep apnea and 79 adults who sleep fine at night.
“Comparing with controls may be useful in advising patients whether they are at increased risk of an accident,” added the researchers.
Despite the fact that roughly 60 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea or some form of sleep disorder, there have been some major improvements in treatments over the last few years.
According to The Australian, Chris Hart, a dentist who suffered from sleep apnea himself, developed a new device as he tried to stay awake in a café shop.
The O2Vent concept was developed when Hart was just chewing on a straw out of boredom and sleep deprivation. Now, through Oventus Medical, Hart oversees the production of roughly 10,000 O2Vents a year. He plans on launching the device in the U.S. within the next six months.
“There’s an awakening of the patient when they’re in treatment that life can be so much better,” said Hart.
There are plenty of benefits of getting a healthy amount of sleep, including feeling more alert and productive throughout the day, improved immune systems, less fatigue, better driving ability, and an overall better quality of life.