Professional Wellness Programs
Occupational Sleep Medicine involves the diagnosis and management of those whose work demands and schedule are unconventional, and special care and attention are needed to maintain optimal focus and alertness on the job.
This includes professional Drivers, Pilots, Ship Captains, First Responders (EMS, Firefighters, Police, 911 personnel), Healthcare workers (particularly those involved in 3rd shift) and other Shiftworkers of all types.
It should be noted that some of the above workers will require DOT medical clearance, and have to maintain an active CDL or pilot license. The CDL or pilot certification often requires a stricter level of compliance particularly with Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment with the CPAP machine. Using the CPAP machine every day and documenting adequate sleep hours have become a mandatory part of keeping a valid CDL or pilot license.
Department of Transportation Regulations
The Department of Transportation (DOT) realizes that many accidents and mistakes happen due to fatigue and untreated sleep disorders. Recent demographic studies show that more than one-third of CDL Truck Drivers have Sleep Apnea and most do not know that they have it. Recently, there has been increased scrutiny of potentially correctable sleep disorders initiated by public safety officials. This scrutiny has resulted in new recommendations from the DOT for driver, pilot, and captain evaluations. It appears that most people with DOT certification will need to be screened for sleep disorders and have appropriate treatment of any sleep disorder found to continue DOT or FAA certification. You can maintain DOT certification if a sleep disorder is adequately treated.
If you have any sleepiness or fatigue you will need to discuss sleep testing with your Physician. Even if you have no symptoms but have other risk factors for sleep disorders you will need to be tested. These findings include:
- Neck circumference greater than:
- > 17 inches in diameter in men > 15 inches in diameter in women
- BMI > 35
- Hypertension requiring 2 or more medications