As I discussed in the last HypnoGram, the AASM is continuing its commitment to awareness of sleep disorders among the public through a branding and public relations initiative set to launch this fall.  I’d like to tell you about other efforts by the AASM to promote awareness of sleep disorders and their effects. 

Earlier this summer, the AASM launched a free online presentation describing the signs, causes and effects of driver fatigue and strategies to manage it.  SAFE-D: Sleep, Alertness and Fatigue Education for Drivers is available through the AASM’s website and also on YouTube and Vimeo to share with your patients or embed on your center’s website.

The 30-minute narrated slide presentation explores the causes of fatigue, which stretch beyond the simple lack of sleep. For example, people who work outside of a typical nine-to-five schedule or work unpredictable schedules are at a high risk for fatigue.

According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an estimated 16.5 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States from 1999-2008 involved a fatigued driver.  As your patients head out for final summer vacation road trips before Labor Day, encourage them to view SAFE-D.

The AASM also launched a complementary presentation, SAFE-T:  Sleep, Alertness and Fatigue Education for Truckers, which is also available through the AASM website, YouTube and Vimeo.  The AASM has made this resource available free of charge to transportation organizations and companies.  Recently, AAA of New York informed us they plan to use the SAFE-T presentation as a mandatory training tool for their driver assistance employees and make SAFE-D available to their associates. 

These two presentations were created by the AASM’s Sleep Deprivation Section, and I thank everyone involved for their contributions to these excellent resources.

Sam Fleishman, MD
AASM President