You can die from this type of sleep

You can die from this type of sleep

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Deadly second sleep
German sleep researchers warn against falling asleep while driving. According to them, it costs twice as many people as alcohol at the wheel.

One in four sleeps while driving

The German Road Safety Council (DVR) found that one in four drivers fell asleep at least once while driving.

Twice as many deaths as from alcohol

Hans-Günter Weess from the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM) says: "Scientific studies suggest that more than twice as many people die on the streets of Germany as a result of falling asleep at the wheel than drinking alcohol."

What situations promote sleep at the wheel?

Weess explains: “This includes the duration of insomnia, the time of day and the situation. For example, the likelihood of falling asleep after a night of sleep, between four and seven in the early morning and in monotonous situations such as on the freeway is particularly high. ”

Insomnia risk

Insomnia increases the risk of falling asleep. After four hours of sleep, the probability is 4.3 times higher than after seven or more hours, and less than 4 hours is 11.5 times higher.

Like alcohol

The doctor Prof. Dr. Maritta Orth says: “Drowsiness is similar to alcohol when driving a car. Already 17 hours without sleep affect the ability to react like 0.5 per thousand alcohol in the blood, 22 hours without sleep act like 1.0 per alcohol in the blood. ” Is a sleepless person more at risk than someone who suffers from alcoholism?

Sleep disorders affect the ability to drive

Not only do you fall asleep for a second, but sleep disorders also disrupt attentive driving. Alfred Wiater of the DGSM emphasizes: “Regular lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, to mental disorders and to a decrease in performance and concentration. The latter mainly affects driving. ”

Why is drowsiness dangerous when driving?

Anne-Sophie Börries from DVR says what fatigue means when driving. This includes, among other things, a lack of concentration: "Sleepiness negatively influences awareness of the danger, responsiveness and ability to concentrate, so that the current speed, distances covered and future distances can be incorrectly assessed."

How does sleep fall?

The main causes of second sleep are insomnia, insomnia and lack of sleep.

Other factors?

Weess lists other causes: "But also physical illnesses, medication effects, climatic conditions, the distance, the time of day, the day of the week, and the equipment of the vehicle must be considered as further factors in the development of fatigue at the wheel."


Almost 20% of the approved medications also impair the ability to drive by braking performance and triggering fatigue.

Medicines as the cause of accidents

Weess says: "Based on expert opinions and careful scientific estimates, we can assume that many traffic accidents involving drugs, especially psychotropic drugs, will take place." (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

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