People don’t always think about the fact that sleep affects you not only during the night but throughout your entire day. We’ve all had nights where we don’t sleep well and the next day we find that we are sluggish, tired, and lacking the normal energy levels that we usually have. Usually our concentration is off due to the lack of sleep. For some people, the feeling of going to bed and waking up tired is a daily occurrence. As scary and far-fetched as it may sound, lack of quality sleep can be deadly.
Patients with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea suffer from fragmented sleep almost every night. Fragmented sleep occurs when you wake up randomly and frequently throughout the night. When the brain and body are awakened on a constant basis, the body is rarely able to enter the sleeping phase known as REM sleep where both dreaming and physical restoration take place. The effects of fragmented sleep vary through they include a lack of concentration and productivity, sleepiness, fatigue, and other conditions. While many don’t see it as a huge problem, for people in certain occupations, being sleepy while on the job can truly cost someone’s life. This stands true especially for those who work with automobiles and those who operate any other type of equipment or machinery. A tired employee is more likely to make careless mistakes when compared to one who is well-rested.
Workers who work long hours and night shifts are more prone to dealing with the true effects of sleep deprivation caused by fragmented sleep. Pilots, machine operators, air traffic controllers, police offers, truck drivers, and others are all at a higher risk of experiencing microsleep which could then lead to all sorts of accidents and mistakes. Microsleep occurs when we fall asleep for 2-30 seconds. While it may not seem like a long time, we all know that anything can happen within even a single second.
To help combat the amount of drowsy-drivers and sleepy workers who are on the roads today, many states such as New Jersey have opted to pass laws that penalize those who are caught driving while lacking sleep. In New Jersey the law is known as Maggie’s Law, named after Maggie McDonald who died after being struck by another driver who fell asleep at the wheel. Under Maggie’s law, a driver who is considered to be sleep-deprived can be legally recognized and charged as a reckless driver, meaning that the offender can be charged with vehicular homicide and other criminal offenses.
Patients should know that fragmented sleeping can be the result of a variety of sleeping and health disorders. While sleep apnea is a known cause of fragmented sleep that then leads to daytime drowsiness, only a health professional, specifically a sleep physician, can properly diagnose you with any type of sleeping disorder. If you are found to have sleep apnea, you can then consult with Dr. Berry to determine a proper sleep apnea treatment method that will work for you. With the right sleep apnea treatment you’ll no longer have to deal with days of being overly tired and feeling like you never rested. This means you’ll have more energy, concentration, and alertness throughout the day. Contact us online or call (303) 691-0267 today to schedule a sleep apnea treatment consultation with Dr. Berry.