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5 Tips on How to Stay Awake While Driving Long Distances

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Are you planning to go for a long drive soon? As drivers, one of the most dangerous things we can do while driving is to be inattentive, and it’s easy to do that when you’re sleepy. Accidentally falling asleep while driving is one of the main contributors to road accidents in the US and worldwide.

You may think, “No, I would never do that,” and yes, nobody is stupid enough to sleep while driving, but it’s easy to fall asleep while on the road. That said, how can we overcome this feeling of sleepiness while driving? How do we avoid feeling sleepy in the first place?

Luckily for you, in this article, we will be talking about some of the things you can do to avoid feeling sleepy while driving long distances. While some of these tips can be a bit troublesome if you’re in a hurry, we can assure you that all of them might save your life one day.o

Drive with a Buddy

Sometimes, we need to take a break. But what if you’re in a hurry to get to a place and you’re also very sleepy? Having a buddy to drive for you temporarily is always handy because you can take turns driving with them when the one on the wheel is tired.

This is a common strategy used by long haul drivers, especially those who drive tractor-trailers, because they have to drive long hours for up to 12 to 15 hours a day.

Get a Nap Beforehand

Nothing feels as refreshing as a good nap, even if it’s just for a few hours or minutes. But then again, if you’re planning to drive for long hours, having a complete sleep is better than just having a nap. But if you don’t have time to sleep, then taking at least a few hours to nap is better than nothing.

What makes it better is when you have a driving buddy because you can take turns driving and napping while on the go. You can take 15-30 minutes of a nap before starting your journey. According to a 2012 study, a short nap can get you a slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement, which means your eyes are refreshed, and you’re ready to work.

Drink Caffeine as Much as Water

Caffeine is the most commonly used stimulant in the world. This is due to its effect of increasing your alertness, focus, and concentration. It’s a good thing to consume beforehand when going on a long trip. You can also take it as you drive, but remember that caffeine is also a diuretic, and prolonged consumption can lead to dehydration.

This is why you should also regularly drink water to avoid being dehydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue, leading to drowsiness, which is especially dangerous since you’re driving.

Avoid Eating Too Many Unhealthy Snacks

Sure, with all the sugar and carbs found in sweets, junk foods, and sugary drinks, you can get a nice energy boost. But, after that energy boost comes a sugar crash. This is your body’s way of regulating all the sugar in your body by creating an insulin spike. An insulin spike can increase fatigue and drowsiness.

To avoid having this crash, eat healthy snacks after your unhealthy ones, especially fruits like bananas or salad. This is especially true if you’re hungry and lacking sleep, which makes these snacks become a huge temptation. So, do your best to avoid these foods unless you need that energy boost at the final stretch of your journey.

Avoid Consuming Alcohol Before and During the Drive

Alcohol is a sedative and can increase your desire to sleep. That said, if you plan to drive long distances, you should avoid consuming alcohol because it can make you sleepy during the drive. Also, try to avoid alcohol the night before too. Why? Have you ever experienced being wasted the night before and sleeping for long hours only to wake up still feeling tired?

This is because drinking impairs your ability to enter REM sleep. REM sleep is responsible for the refreshed and well-rested feeling we get the morning after. So, if you went drinking the night before that long drive, you have a high chance of waking up tired on the day after, which is not a good thing when driving.

So, overall, not only should you not drink and drive, but you shouldn’t also drink the night before a long drive. Various driving courses, such as OnRoad Driving Education, proved that drinking before a long drive could lead to disaster.

Final Words

Driving for long distances is very tiring, which is why we should be on our peak physical conditioning for the journey. Being well-rested, alert, and ready are three of the things you should prioritize when going for a long drive. Other than that, you’re good to go.

The Blogulator

Web World Developers | Digital Marketing | support@theblogulator.com

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