One of The Risks of Not Treating Sleep Apnoea

At the end of brain awareness week I thought I might enlighten people on one of the many risks in not treating obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA is a condition where the upper airway restricts breathing while asleep, causing disturbed sleep and serious physical issues. Research by Motamedi et al. 2017 in the Journal of Sleep Medicine, has supported what I have been concerned about for many years now. That untreated moderate to severe OSA may contribute to neurodegenerative disease.

I often reinforce how sleep allows the brain to be flushed and drained of it’s toxins, including B Amaloid and Tau protein. Both of these toxins are involved in brain issues such as plaques and  the tangles of neurons. The researchers found that compared to people without OSA, those with moderate to severe OSA had elevated Tau proteins, indicating a high risk factor for neurodegenerative disease if the OSA is left untreated.

They also found that Interleukin 6 (IL-6) was elevated in people with severe OSA.   IL-6 stimulates the inflammatory response  and auto-immune process in diseases such as diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and many more. It will also cause increased body temperature which  may worsen the    effects of menopause (Wikipedia).

At the end of brain awareness week it is important for us to identify and treat OSA as soon as possible to live healthier.

Do you stop driving when you feel sleepy?

This is what it might look like when your eyes are struggling to stay open!!

Most drivers like to think they are in full control of their driving, even when they are feeling sleepy. But hasn’t every driver at some time woken up to find they are wandering off the road, or worse?

We have long known that the eyes are a pretty good indicator of falling asleep. Research by Filtness et al. (2014) had 16 drivers undertake drives on real roads and on a driving simulator both during the daytime and at night. At the end of each drive, ten eye symptoms were rated and compared with subjective measures of performance and actual objective driving performance measures.

The four key eye measures rated as symptoms of sleepiness were: ‘eye strain’, ‘heavy eyelids’, ‘difficulty focusing’ and ‘difficulty keeping the eyes open’. Whilst having these symptoms, drivers were more likely to report subjective sleepiness and have line crossings than those who did not suffer the eye conditions. Heavy eyelids and difficulty keeping the eyes open were involved in unintentional line crossings.

Most of us can feel these eye symptoms and could easily make it a rule to stop immediately that any of these eye symptoms appear in a drive. This research is useful validation for users of eye monitoring technology in-vehicles and can be used to set alert parameters.

Back to School – Kids & sleep

Only a couple of weeks away till our beloved children go back to school. But are they in a good place and the best version of themselves? Kids (especially teens) have possibly been pushing the boundaries of adequate sleep and it may be helpful to make sure they are sleeping well to go back to learning.


 Ten Top Tips for driving safely over holidays

Free resources

Beyond Midnight have developed and uploaded a number of posters for anyone to download, print and put up in the workplace or at home. Feel free to check out the “Posters” page.

   TLIF2010A Apply Fatigue Management Strategies

Beyond Midnight Consulting will soon have the TLIF2010A course online. Modules 1 – The Science of Sleep, 2 – How Sleep Affects Mental & Physical Health and 9 – Road Transport & Heavy Vehicles, will be the required modules to fulfill the requirements of the learning. You should also do modules 6 – Shiftwork and 7 – Heat & Hydration to capture as much information relevant to truck driving as possible. To complete the TLIF2010A course, you will need to download the questions and workplace requirements and send them in to our partners at Barbaro Group. More information will come when the course is set up.