Microsleep: The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
Driving while sleep deprived can be even more dangerous than previously thought. Microsleep is when a person loses consciousness for up to thirty seconds and is often times not aware of it until they regain consciousness. This is most common in sleep-deprived drivers, although it can occur in non-sleep deprived drivers when doing a dull or boring task such as driving.
Have you ever been driving and kind of “zone” out and when you come back into consciousness you are in a different driving lane or hitting the rumble strips? When microsleep occurs, the victims are usually unaware and insist they were awake the whole time, or to have only temporarily lost focus.
According to the CDC, drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States. Lack of sleep is not only dangerous when driving, if you are getting insufficient sleep you are at a higher risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, reduced quality of life, and more.
The National Institute of Health recommends that school-age children need about 10 hours of sleep daily, teens need 9-10 hours, and adults require 7-8 hours.
This video below is an example of microsleep occurring. Whoever that person is on the motorbike is very lucky to be alive!