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How to Stay Awake when Driving



Get enough sleep before a trip

Get sufficient sleep before going on a road trip. A short nap of about 20 minutes can help you recharge before driving. If you are going to drive for a long distance get enough sleep before the journey, this will provide you enough rest to keep you alert for the journey.

Drink caffeine

Take a caffeinated drink before or during a trip. Caffeine helps to improve alertness. For instance, a cup of coffee contains about 75 milligrams of caffeine. This is enough to keep you awake and alert while driving. However, note that the effects of caffeine wears off after several hours.

Do not drink alcohol before driving.

Do not drink alcohol. Even very small amounts of alcohol will enhance drowsiness. Sleep, especially while driving, is hardest to fight when one is feeling drowsy from alcohol intake.

Watch what you eat

If you have to eat before or during a trip, eat something light. Heavy meals can cause drowsiness or cause you to become tired. Take snacks or very light food whenever you stop in-between trip. Or go for energizing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Drive with a companion

When going on a long trip, it is wise to go with a partner. After a while, especially when feeling sleepy, pull over and let your partner take over the driving. This will allow you take a nap in order to refresh.

Avoid driving between midnight and 6 AM

Avoid situations that will require you to drive between midnight and 6 a.m. Due to the body’s biological rhythm, that period is when the body is naturally programmed to sleep, and controlling sleep at that period is hardest. . It is dangerous to drive during these hours as there is an increased risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

Chew gum

Chewing gum helps keep your mouth busy, and at the same time helps you stay awake and focus. Before driving, especially for a long trip, pick up a few packs of chewing gum. Whenever, you start to feel sleepy, chew some gum.  However, ensure you go for sugar-free gum. Chewing gum with sugar content can have reverse effect. They can leave you feeling more tired than how you felt before, and ultimately induce sleep.

Stop to take a nap

When you notice that you are getting tired or sleepy, pull over in order to take a nap.

A short nap of about twenty minutes can refresh your brain; give you the stamina you need to keep driving. Find a safe place to pull over and nap for about fifteen to twenty minute. Set an alarm. You do not want a twenty-minute nap to turn into an hour-long nap. For your safety, you should choose a place that is not too isolated, such as car park, near a filling station, a busy roadside restaurant, etc.

Open a window

The sensation of cold breeze hitting your face can wake you up. Whnever you are feeling sleepy open a window for a few minutes. Opening the window will also usher in a great deal of background noise. This will prevent you from dozing off.




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