Have you ever had a very brief sleep phase — about two to ten seconds — while doing something? For example, when working on a deck in the office, while sitting at a table after lunch, or while watching, you suddenly fall asleep. Because it is so short, this sleep phase is not even realized by most people. This phenomenon is known as microsleep .
Getting to know Microsleep
Microsleep is a period of sleep that is short, uncontrollable, and lasts several seconds. A person who experiences this phase will usually fall asleep without realizing it and often occurs in the middle of doing other activities.Healthline
Usually, this occurs when you try to hold back sleep, but your body can’t compromise anymore. As a result, the brain enters a state of rest or sleep while the body is still active and is still in a waking state. This is what then makes you sleep for a fraction of a second.
Danger While Driving
This phenomenon is actually a harmless condition and only occurs very briefly. But when it attacks someone who is driving, of course the effect will be different.
The reason is, someone who is driving must always be focused and ready to face various unexpected situations that may occur. Meanwhile, when you experience this phenomenon, you will not be aware of what is happening around you so you cannot take any action.
Reporting from businessinsider, based on research data conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, around 16.5% of fatal car accidents that occur in the United States are due to microsleep .
Can this phenomenon be prevented? There is no definite answer to this question but you can reduce the risk of this phenomenon. The trick is to get enough rest at night.
This is because most cases of microsleep occur due to a lack of rest the night before, either due to sleep problems (insomnia, sleep apnea ) or from doing activities such as working overtime or playing games .
The recommended time for meeting the sleep needs of an adult is around 7-9 hours. Make sure you fulfill it especially if you plan to drive the next day. However, if in the middle of your trip you suddenly feel sleepy, immediately find a place to stop to take a break.
Usually, drowsiness can occur when you are driving on a straight, freeway road. However, if the car is not cold because the AC is broken , maybe this will not happen because you are not comfortable with the hot air in the car.
Even so, you still have to be aware if you find yourself feeling drowsy. Never delay looking for a place to rest so that the risk of accidents due to microsleep can be avoided.