Have you ever been driving and feel your eyes getting heavy? Drowsy driving is one of the riskiest short term side effects of sleep deprivaton.
If you're not gettting from 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, your body knows it. Sleep deprevation brings on both short term and long term effects. Both are risky.
One in three Americans is sleep deprived, and drowsey driving is considered an epidemic.
"Drowsy driving is actually considered much more common as compared to drunk driving - and it's also more dangerous," says Henry Ford sleep medicind doctor, Meeta Singh.
She says drowsy driving can mean sleepy, slow reaction times or, worse, falling asleep behind the wheel.
"When you have a drowsy accident, you're alone in the car, you know, you fall asleep and you're driving at the speed of 70 mph; you're going to veer off the road or you're going to cross the median into oncoming traffic. The one characteristic of drowsy accident is you don't have any corrective measures because you're asleep."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving causes more than 1,500 deaths a year in our country. And really the only solution is getting more sleep.
"It's a myth that when people say they roll down windows, sing, chew gum, eat food, talk on the phone, slep themselves - whatever they're doing thinking it prevents them from falling asleep, it really doesn't."
Until you can start getting enough sleep at night, the best temporary fix for drowsy driving is pulling over and taking a quick nap.