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Drowsy Driving Accident Risks Magnified for Light Sleepers

It doesn’t matter if you feel perfectly rested and refreshed the next morning. If you average less than six hours of sleep a night on an average, your risks of a drowsy driving-related car accident are automatically much higher. According to a new study, which was published in the Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention, light or short sleepers who sleep for less than 6 hours per night, are likely to be the most at- risk for drowsy driving accidents. This is so even if they do not feel drowsy and fatigued while driving. In other words, you don’t have to show any symptoms of drowsiness like yawning, tiredness, lethargy, drifting attention, or difficulty in focusing on the road to be at a higher risk for a drowsy driving accident. Even if you feel perfectly normal and fresh, you could still be at a higher risk if you have slept for just a few hours the previous night. In fact, the accident risk simply seems to increase as the number of hours per night of sleep went down. Short sleepers who slept for six hours or less per night and extreme short sleepers who slept for five or less hours per night were at a much higher risk of accidents, compared to people who got seven hours of sleep a night. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you set specific times for sleep, and stick to these. Go to bed at the same time every day, and don’t change your sleep schedule even on holidays or weekends. Don’t overeat before you go to bed, and limit your nicotine and caffeine intake before bedtime. These tips can help you sleep better,helping reduce your accident risks as well.