Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the Railroaders’ Guide to Healthy Sleep?
A. The Railroaders’ Guide to Healthy Sleep, a website at www.RailroaderSleep.org, provides tools, tips and information to help railroaders—as well as families and friends—explore and improve sleep and find a healthy balance in life. The Anonymous Sleep Disorders Screening Tool helps you check up on your own sleep health. While any transportation industry employee may benefit from the information at the website, this site is designed to meet the specific needs of railroaders.
Q. Why is sleep so important to railroaders?
A. Sleep is vital for all of us. We can’t live without it. Many railroaders work on-call and have unpredictable schedules, so it’s especially essential for them to know how and when to get the best sleep possible. Good sleep can improve railroaders’ safety and health, both on and off the job.
Q. Who should use RailroaderSleep.org?
A. This site is designed for several groups of users:
- Railroaders: Whether your schedule is fixed or variable, you’ll find tools and information designed especially for railroader life.
- Families and Friends: A railroader schedule can affect family and friends, too. Improve your railroader’s sleep and daily life—and your own.
- Railroad Companies: Human Resources departments, staff nurses, Employee Assistance Programs and company intranets can all help improve safety and job satisfaction by sharing this site with employees. You can start by printing and posting this promotional flyer.
- Unions and Auxiliaries: Unions and their spouses’ networks can help their members stay informed and safer. RailroaderSleep.org encourages you to share the site in newsletters and social media and by distributing this flyer at events.
- Any other transportation industry employee for whom sleep is a concern.
Q. Is RailroaderSleep.org information trustworthy?
A. Initially launched in June 2012, RailroaderSleep.org information was reviewed and updated in 2015 using the latest scientific literature and through consultation with sleep experts. However, you should check with your doctor to confirm that the information is right for you.
Q. Do employers know who uses the site or its tools?
Anonymous Sleep Disorders Screening Tool Questions
Q. What is the Anonymous Sleep Disorders Screening Tool?
A. A cornerstone of RailroadSleep.org is the Anonymous Sleep Disorders Screening Tool, an online, private self-assessment that helps identify personal risk for sleep disorders, and find help if needed to address sleep problems. The Tool takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. You can then print out your results to share with a healthcare provider. It is completely anonymous. Any information you enter is automatically deleted when you exit.
Q: What does taking this quiz involve?
A: When you click the link to the quiz, your web browser will redirect you to a secure Brigham and Women's Hospital website. The quiz takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. It asks about your experience with common symptoms of sleep disorders, such as snoring, or feeling a recurrent urge to move your legs when you sit or lie down.
After you complete the quiz, a computer program will review your answers. It estimates your risk of having one or more sleep disorders, and provides a notice on your screen telling you if you are at risk. You may print this notice to share with a healthcare provider. Any information you enter is automatically deleted when you exit.
You also will receive a link to http://www.sleepcenters.org/. Use the zip code lookup feature from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to find accredited sleep specialists in your area.
Q: Will personal information be collected?
A: No. The screening tool is completely anonymous. Any information you enter is automatically deleted when you exit. If you cannot complete the questions in one sitting and choose to return later, you will need to start over.
Q: I sleep fine. Why should I complete this quiz?
A: It's easy to overlook symptoms that occur only or mainly while you sleep. The quiz will ask about your sleep in a typical week and on vacations. Taking the quiz may alert you to a pattern of symptoms you may wish to discuss with a healthcare provider.
Q: I already know I have a sleep disorder. I'm receiving treatment for it. Why should I take this quiz?
A: People with one sleep disorder may be at risk for others. Taking the quiz may help alert you to new or different symptoms to discuss with a healthcare provider.
Q: Suppose I learn I am at risk for a sleep disorder, but do not wish to see my healthcare provider?
A: Even if you decide not to seek medical help now, pay attention to possible symptoms. If your problems persist, retake the quiz in a few months. When you next see a healthcare provider, consider discussing these problems.
Q: Who will have access to my replies to the quiz?
A: Only you. Any information you enter is automatically deleted when your session ends.
Q. Who created and maintains RailroaderSleep.org?
A. The website was originally created by experts in sleep science and sleep health at the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 2012 and updated by the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in 2015. It is owned and funded by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), an operating mode of the U.S. Department of Transportation. A panel of industry stakeholders from government, labor, management and industry associations provided feedback on the website’s design and content. Panel members include representatives from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), BNSF Railway, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), FRA, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Transportation Division, and Union Pacific Railroad.
Q. Can RailroaderSleep.org diagnose sleep problems?
A. The information on RailroaderSleep.org—especially the Anonymous Sleep Disorders Screening Tool—may help you spot your own risks for having a sleep disorder. However, you should always talk to a physician or other healthcare provider to discuss your concerns. Do not change your medications or other prescribed routines without seeking a healthcare provider’s advice.
Q. Who can find out when I read RailroaderSleep.org, or what pages I visit?
Q. What can I do to help railroaders I know find out about this site?
A. Thanks for asking! You can do several things:
- Tell a friend
- Share a page you find interesting on Facebook or Twitter
- Include information about the site in your newsletter
- Download, print and post a RailroaderSleep.org flyer at your terminal, or email it to colleagues and friends
- Encourage your company or union to share the site, such as with a link on an Intranet home screen
Q. Would you give me some short text about RailroaderSleep.org to include in my newsletter?
A. Sure! Here’s some general text.
Improve sleep and safety. Visit www.RailroaderSleep.org.
Sleep is vital. We can’t live without it. Many railroaders work on-call and have unpredictable schedules, so it’s essential for them to know how and when to get the best sleep possible. Good sleep can improve railroaders’ safety and health, both on and off the job. The Railroaders’ Guide to Healthy Sleep website provides tools, tips, and information to help railroaders—as well as families and friends—explore and improve sleep and find a healthy balance in life. Please contact RailroaderSleep@dot.gov with any comments or questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Q. May I write or post about RailroaderSleep.org?
A. Yes, please! The more people in the railroader community who know about and use this website to help their lives, the better. Contact us at RailroaderSleep@dot.gov if you have questions or need more information.