The holiday season can be tough on our sleeping routine. With all the food, parties, games and family fun—who can sleep?
Add the stress of traveling and you’ve got a perfect recipe for insomnia, fatigue and other sleep issues.
All of these sleep issues can be even more worrisome if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Operating a vehicle while sleep-impaired can be particularly dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an estimated 100,000 accidents yearly are caused by tired drivers.
And the greatest number of drowsy-driving accidents occur late at night when the body reaches the peak of “circadian sleepiness.”
Here are a few tips to help you sleep more soundly and travel this holiday season safely.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before you travel.
If you’re flying, plan for any time zone changes, and allow time for some rest once you arrive to help further counter jet lag.
If you can, sleep on the plane. Bring sleep helpers such as a plane pillow, headphones or a sleep mask to try to snooze on the plane.
Assess Your Alertness
Before getting behind the wheel, assess your level of alertness. Never drive sleepy.
If you’re driving, take breaks frequently to stretch your legs and clear your mind.
Bring whatever sleep necessities you need with you: special pillows and blankets, your custom oral appliance and whatever else you may need to ensure you get a good night’s rest once you reach your final destination.
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