What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder present in approximately 41% of commercial transport operators*.
Because OSA leads to broken sleep, it can cause excessive sleepiness during the day. Studies have shown that road users with sleep apnea 2-7 times more likely to have accidents that other drivers. OSA not only disrupts sleep but it can have a profound impact on all aspects of health and well-being.
Untreated sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, commonly results in individuals being excessively sleepy during the day (or at night if a shift worker). This elevated sleepiness poses a significant risk to their personal safety, their employers health & safety risk exposure and others in their community. It also undermines productivity.
We provide an effective process to identify risk, screen for incidence of OSA and then provide an effective treatment and monitoring program.
Many people have sleep apnea and don't realise it. Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that is far more common than is generally understood.
OSA causes interruptions to breathing during sleep. These interruptions, which can last for up to 10 seconds or more, occur when the airway narrows so much that it closes. This stops breathing, and the brain reacts by briefly waking the person, causing the airways to re-open and breathing to re-start.
The person may not be aware of this awakening and the process can be repeated up to several hundred times during the night.
Stimulants (like coffee) taken to counter the effects of tiredness are not a substitute for sleep. The regular use of stimulants by individuals may be a clue to the existence of an underlying sleep disorder.
The good news is that a safe, proven treatment is now available.
* Assessing Sleepiness and Sleep Disorders in Australian Long-distance Commercial Vehicle Drivers: Self-report versus and ‘at home’ monitoring device. Sleep (2012) 35 (4): 469-475