The National Sleep Foundation has announced that Schneider National is the recipient of its 2007 NSF Healthy Sleep Community Award for creating an obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) detection and treatment program for its drivers.
The commercial driver sleep apnea program administered by Schneider National was created in response to a study sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Trucking Assns., which revealed up to 28% of commercial driver’s license holders have some severity of OSA.
OSA is characterized by pauses in breathing that last at least 10 seconds or more and can occur up to 400 times per night, NSF said. Signs of sleep apnea include daytime sleepiness, falling asleep at inappropriate times, loud snoring, depression, irritability, loss of sex drive, morning headaches, frequent nighttime urination, lack of concentration and memory impairment.
Research indicates that untreated sleep apnea puts drivers at increased risk for motor vehicle crashes as well as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes and may contribute to obesity.
“Schneider National is honored that NSF has recognized our efforts to address the dangerous and far-reaching problem of sleep apnea in the industry,” said Don Osterberg, vp of safety and training for Schneider National. “Ideally, we expect our program will serve as a model for the entire trucking industry. The industry needs to generate awareness of this problem, educate drivers to the dangers of untreated sleep apnea, provide resources to help them get treated and ultimately make the roads safer for everyone.”