Stopping Sleepiness

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Scientists are working on how to measure sleepiness before we notice it ourselves.   People who are sleepy have slower reaction times, decreased attention and problems learning and processing information.  What makes sleepiness dangerous is that most people are not generally aware of how sleepy and how impaired they actually are.  Some symptoms of sleepiness are:

  • People who have lack of sleep yawn but it differs from person to person.
  • As a person gets sleepier eye blinks slow down.
  • Sleepy people sway more while standing still.
  • One all nighter is enough to impair most people.  After three nights of four hours of sleep, most people have slower reaction times and problems processing information.

This is especially problematic for drivers who don’t realize how drowsy they are until they veer off the road.  You probably don’t want a surgeon operating on you who is sleep deprived.  Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Some can get by with less and it is believed that this is partly genetic.

In the future there will be devices such as sunglasses and head rests in cars that will alarm or send a warning message.

Source:  Wall Street Journal

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