Dr. Seibel's Health Tips / Health and Fitness

Asleep At The Wheel

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Too little sleep has become a public health epidemic affecting up to 70 million Americans and contributing to an increase of blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. I’ve created an audio CD about Sleep and Your Health as part of my 6 CD Health Accelerator series.

For this "Health Matters and Why it Matters to You" I want to tell you about one of the hazards of too little sleep that is the most lethal of all: falling asleep at the wheel. If that sounds like you, you are not alone. A 2009 study by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) which was a collaboration between the CDC and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research found that 4.7% of Americans reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month. That’s 1 in 20 drivers. Drivers that drive right up into your trunk, weave around the road, or demonstrate road rage could be exhibiting drowsy driving. That’s why 1,500 people die each year from drowsy driving and 40,000 more have non-fatal injuries.

If you find your eyes getting heavy, or you can’t remember what happened over the last few exits, or you find yourself opening the window for more air or turning up the radio, listen to your body. Find a safe place to pull over and either rest a few minutes or take a short stretch. Doing this every 100 miles or every two hours is a great idea in general. Driving during the day and avoiding those all night marathon drives is another great way to stay safe. Having a buddy drive with you to help you stay awake can save your life. Remember, driving a two-ton vehicle at 60 or more miles per hour, you might only get one chance to fall asleep at the wheel. 

© 2012 HealthRock, LLC. HealthRock Publishing ASCAP All Rights Reserved
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Editor’s Note:  As Dr. Seibel says, "It’s better to stay well than to get well!" Visit his award-winning site at www.doctorseibel.com

“It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Machelle (Mache) Seibel is America’s health expert, addressing the critical needs of consumers from stress and weight control to menopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for almost 20 years and is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and more. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. His professional experiences include:

– Host for PBS and NBC TV episodes, frequent media expert;

– Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America;

– Past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause;

– Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor 2008;

– Multiple national awards for research, writing, music writing and patient education;

– Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-present;

– Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-2011;

– Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with health songs and entertainment;

– Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere);

– Corporate Consultant and Corporate Health Expert Nationally and Internationally;

– Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles;

– American Cancer Society New England Division Medical Advisory Network;

– Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity; and

– Nationally known guest speaker, key note speaker.

Visit his award-winning website www.DoctorSeibel.com and sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

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