Dr. John's Medical is an an organization that provides resources for truckers with sleep apnea who often struggle to get the sleep they need to do their routes. Dr. John recently published an excellent blog that we wanted to share with you. See what wisdom he has about sleep health below:
Sleeping less than seven hours a night can have a negative impact on your health. With the COVID-19 epidemic, truck drivers are working longer hours and have increased stress levels. Now more than ever, getting an adequate amount of sleep is important to maintain your overall health.
Here are Dr. John’s “Big 5” ways sleep impacts your health:
- Immune System: Sleep is essential for the immune system. Your body’s immune system will not function properly without sleep. The immune system is critical in fighting off infection, as well as healing the body. Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep. You are less likely to fight off illness if you are sleep deprived!
- Physical Health: If you are not getting the proper amount of sleep, you are at a higher risk for developing hypertension, diabetes, stroke and obesity. Remember, people with these health issues are most susceptible for contracting the COVID-19 virus. Take care of your body, eat a healthy diet, hydrate and get an adequate amount of sleep for optimal health.
- Mental Health: Not getting adequate amounts of sleep also impacts your mental health. Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in memory, productivity and concentration. Lack of sleep can also cause an increase in mood swings, depression and anxiety. During these uncertain times, sleep can help you keep a positive attitude.
- Safety: As a truck driver, safety is your number one priority. Lack of sleep decreases your reaction time and coordination. It also impairs your judgement and you are more likely to take unnecessary risks. While the DOT regulations have been temporarily lifted, it is still important to get at least seven hours of sleep each day in order to keep you, and others, safe on the road.
- Energy: Without the proper amounts of sleep, your energy is greatly impacted. Studies suggest that only during restful sleep can human brain cells replenish the energy stores they depleted during a full day of thinking, working and reacting. Lack of sleep also decreases hormone levels which can affect all aspects of the body. You need energy to stay on the go, so listen to your body and get the sleep you need.