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Study finds insomniacs at greater risk of fatal accidents

Californians on the road face an onslaught of drivers who should not be behind the wheel: people who have been drinking, people who are not insured and people who have suspended licenses. Several recent studies have started to explore the effects that insomnia can have on drivers – and the news is not good.

 The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society published a study that took a look at how symptoms of insomnia increase the likelihood of a fatal accident. Researchers evaluated participants and if they experienced the following:

  •           Trouble falling asleep
  •          Trouble staying asleep
  •          Trouble getting sleep that is restful

 According to the study, people who reported having all three symptoms present were nearly three times more likely to suffer a fatal injury than people who do not suffer from insomnia. Additionally, those who reported having trouble falling asleep were more than twice as likely to die in a car accident than people who get to sleep with ease.

 These findings support a report from the National Institutes of Health, which states that insomniacs are at a greater risk of experiencing accidents in the car, at work or at home. Of the people who participated in the study, 9 percent reported falling asleep behind the wheel, and 4.1 percent admitted that their sleepiness had resulted in a car accident.

 No matter if someone is a diagnosed insomniac or not, the link between drowsy driving and serious accidents has been demonstrated time and again. The National Sleep Foundation has urged anyone who finds themselves nodding off to immediately pull over and rest before taking to the road again.

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