Sleep apnea causes a lack of oxygen that will prevent you from entering proper REM cycles. Without the REM cycles necessary to feel rested, drivers with sleep apnea are at risk of drowsy driving. Losing even 2 hours of sleep is similar to the effect of having 3 beers. And you are 3 times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued.
This is why it’s so important for commercial drivers to be tested for sleep apnea, in order to maintain their medical certificate. Every 2 years, your Certified Medical Examiner determines whether or not you have a Respiratory Dysfunction, like sleep apnea, in order to renew your Medical Certificate. The proactive way to handle diagnosis and treatment is through SleepMaster Solutions™.
- SleepMaster Solutions™ provides a simple, at-home sleep apnea test.
- The Wifi and Bluetooth-enabled SleepMaster Solutions™ machine will do all the necessary tracking and reporting for you.
- If testing shows that you have sleep apnea, a lightweight and comfortable CPAP machine will be sent to your home, for you to begin treatment.
Wondering if you’ll lose your Medical Certificate after a sleep apnea diagnosis? Having sleep apnea DOES NOT disqualify your Medical Certificate. A CME’s confirmation that you are managing your condition (using your CPAP machine) is all you need to keep your Medical Certificate after being diagnosed with sleep apnea. As long as you use your CPAP machine greater than 4 hours for at least 70% of the days, you’re compliant.
Those recently diagnosed with OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) may be conditionally certified for 1 month. At the end of this month, they can be certified for 3 months, if compliance (use of your CPAP) is documented in the 2 previous weeks. Compliance is then reassessed at 3 months to determine whether you’ve been compliant and can be certified at that point for 1 year. Future certification after 1 year will rely on compliance with CPAP treatment.
In order to remain compliant with federal regulations for commercial drivers, take a free online screening to determine if you’re at risk of sleep apnea.