Ruan Launches Sleep Apnea Awareness Program

Mar 18, 2024

Ruan is pleased to announce a new partnership with REMsafe Sleep to provide a full-service Sleep Apnea Awareness Program (SAAP) for our drivers. The purpose of this program is to provide our professional drivers who may be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with the testing, treatment, and ongoing support resources needed to effectively manage OSA.

What is sleep apnea, and why is it important to address?

Did you know 47 percent of long-distance truck drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once, and 25 percent admit to falling asleep behind the wheel within the past year? One common cause of daytime fatigue is obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is defined as abnormal breathing during sleep due to a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway. This leads to low oxygen levels, interrupted sleep, excessive snoring, and can cause other health concerns like high blood pressure and heart disease.

Symptoms of OSA include daytime fatigue, depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and daytime sleepiness. Companion diseases—called comorbidities—frequently accompany sleep apnea.

Restful, regenerative sleep truly is the body’s best medicine. Treating sleep apnea allows the body to get the quality sleep it needs to recharge and can also help reduce symptoms of other health conditions, improving overall health and well-being.

Health complications associated with sleep apnea include:

  • Heart disease
  • Mental confusion
  • Acid reflux
  • Asthma
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Long-term health issues
  • Death

Poor quality of sleep can also make one less alert and affect  coordination, judgment, and reaction time while driving, putting oneself and other drivers in danger. Risks of driving with OSA might include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Slow reaction time
  • Cognitive impairment

How does Ruan’s Sleep Apnea Program work?

During the regular Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination process, the DOT Medical Examiner may require a driver to take a sleep test if multiple OSA risk factors are present. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Loud snoring
  • History of small airway
  • Witnessed apneas (pauses in breathing during sleep)
  • Self-reported episodes of sleepiness during the major wake periods
  • Obesity
  • Large neck size
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • History of stroke, diabetes, or other co-morbid conditions

If a sleep test is required by the DOT Medical Examiner, our partners at REMsafe will contact the driver and guide them through the home sleep test (HST) process.

If OSA treatment is required, REMsafe works with the driver to determine the right CPAP equipment for their needs then provides support to complete setup and get them started on their journey to better health. They’ll also provide ongoing support with regular check-ins, coaching, and encouragement, in addition to coordinating resupply orders and delivery. Ruan will cover the cost of equipment for the program with limits based on warranty and proper care of the equipment. This includes the initial testing and resupplies over the product’s lifetime.

“A good, restful night’s sleep is incredibly important. This new program promotes Ruan’s Guiding Principles and our commitment to acting with integrity in all we do,” says Blake Grolmus, Ruan Vice President of Safety.  “Ruan is excited to launch the new Sleep Apnea Awareness Program, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact across our team. Our drivers are the backbone of our company, and we look forward to helping promote a safer and healthier team in 2024!”