Channel 19

Todd Dills

Back to basics in apnea debate: The importance of sleep

| February 24, 2012

Last night on the Truth About Trucking Live online radio program of fuel hauler Allen Smith and his wife, Donna, discussion of the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board’s joint work on the issue of sleep apnea gave way at a crucial moment to a reiteration of the reality of the sleep apnea condition. It was delivered by a driver listener who, as I’ve heard from many other drivers out there who deal with sleep apnea on a daily basis, noted that Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment for his apnea has greatly improved his days by allowing more restful sleep.

Debate over whether it makes sense to regulate the condition in driver’s medical qualifications, however, was no less robust. To listen to the two-hour program, the last half-hour given over to discussion of MCSAC’s work on EOBRs and harassment, follow this link (the next MCSAC meeting is happening in May, agenda as yet unpublished). You can read Overdrive‘s current cover story on apnea, by Lucinda Coulter, here.

And check out the neat infographic below from the folks at frugaldad.com, which highlights the many ways sleep is vital to waking health and well-being. And as an aside, as the makers note, “although we sleep 20 percent less now than we did 100 years ago, we also have more tools to help us sleep available.”

They make note of various smartphone apps, from those that produce ambient noise to one that helps track your sleeping patterns and factors that influence them. The Proactive Sleep app is available for both iPhone and Android. Find more info about it here.