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Up to a Quarter of All American Adults May Be at Risk of Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

A new study indicates that lack of sleep and insomnia are huge health problems among American adults. According to the study which has been published in the medical journal The Lancet, as many as a quarter of all adults are not happy with the amount of sleep they get each night. In fact, approximately 10% of adults meet the criteria for full-fledged insomnia. The Atlanta car accident lawyers at our firm unfortunately see far too many serious vehicle accidents due to drowsy or distracted driving.

Researchers based their study on an analysis of previous scientific databases, and findings from major studies conducted on sleep over the past 5 years. They found several factors that indicated we need to increase awareness about the widespread nature of insomnia, and spotlight the consequences of insomnia.

Insomnia is associated with a number of health disorders. According to a report published in 2002, persons who suffer from insomnia are about twice as likely to suffer from congestive heart failure compared to persons who have healthy and normal sleep patterns. Additionally, these persons will be approximately 5 times as likely to suffer from depression or anxiety-related disorders. Persons who suffer from insomnia, according to the researchers, may also be at a high risk for substance abuse, and psychological disorders.

Those are not the only effects of insomnia. Studies have found that persons who suffer from insomnia may suffer from effects very similar to those of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is different from insomnia. Sleep deprivation refers to a reduced length of sleep due to lower opportunity to sleep. However, insomniacs have an inability to sleep in spite of having the opportunity to sleep.

Researchers have found a number of effects arising from insomnia, especially an increased risk of accidents. Persons who suffer from sleep deprivation or insomnia will both be at a high risk for drowsy driving accidents. Persons who are surviving on much lesser sleep than they need are more likely to nod off at the wheel, especially when they’re driving alone or for long distances, possibly increasing the risks of a serious single car accident.

Researchers have found evidence to indicate that cognitive behavioral therapy may help treat persons who suffer from insomnia. There have also been experiments with hypnotics to help treat persons who suffer from chronic insomnia. However, cognitive behavioral therapy may not be as easily available to persons who suffer from insomnia, although this kind of therapy has been found to show sustained benefits in treating persons with the condition. Researchers are calling for the development of other alternative methods to treat insomnia. These methods include support groups for insomniacs. Additionally, they are also calling for more patient-friendly and convenient methods of treating the disorder, like anti-insomnia medications. In the end, we all need to do what we can to reduce the number of driving drowsy accidents, and those that injury drivers, passengers, and pedestrians throughout Georgia. The car accident attorneys at our firm will continue to educate the public about this issue, while also providing skilled legal representation to those who have been involved in an accident.