Snoring and even sleep apnea have long been considered as draining annoyances. But according to a new study published in the journal BMC Medicine, they can actually be lethal.
It can actually increase your risk of dying from this by a scary 123%.
And the reason these conditions are so dangerous are not just because they lead to obesity, high blood pressure and other serious diseases.
It’s something much more serious than that.
People who are sleep deprived, either by insomnia or sleep apnea, are often aware that they are sleepy during the day. But when the long lasting sleepiness reaches a certain level, the awareness of it declines, probably because it begins to feel normal.
The question is, after you stop feeling tired, is your attention normal or are you a ticking time bomb ready to go off?
To find out, the researchers collected the medical information of 1,745 men and 1,456 women from the previously conducted Sleep Heart Health Study. This information included sleep apnea scores and the nightly sleep duration of the participants.
After two years, they gave these people a questionnaire to find out about their driving habits and motor vehicle crash histories.
Compared with those with no sleep apnea, those with severe and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea were more likely to have been in a road accident, which was often a 123% more in severe cases and 13% more in mild-to-moderate cases.
Compared with people who slept seven hours per night, those who managed only six hours were 33% more likely to have been in a motor vehicle crash.
When testing for people’s awareness of daytime sleepiness, they found that this was not relevant at all.
Just as high percentage of people who felt properly awake (but were actually sleep deprived) had car accident as those who felt fatigued.
Thinking of the 1.250.000 deaths every year in car accidents and you’ll realize just how serious a 123% increase in car accident risk is.