The National Sleep Foundation states that drowsy driving is a major cause of automobile accidents. It’s important to stay alert and active on the road, so here are 11 tips for staying awake while behind the wheel:
1. Take A Break Before You Need One
It’s important to plan ahead and get enough sleep at night, but sometimes that’s not possible or doesn’t work out as planned. If you find yourself feeling drowsy while driving, don’t wait until it starts interfering with your ability to drive safely – take a break right away. Pull off to the side of the road and take a 10-15 minute nap. This can be enough to help you get through the rest of your drive without any further incidents.
2. Keep Your Vehicle Well Ventilated
Having fresh air blowing into your car while driving can help keep you alert and awake by providing much-needed oxygen to your brain. Keep the windows open and, if you’re cold, consider wearing layers or bringing a blanket in case you need it.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mind sharp and your body energized. Regularly drinking water also helps keep you from getting dehydrated which can make you feel drowsy.
4. Listen To Music
Listening to upbeat music can help keep your mind alert and focused on the road, while also helping to pass the time. Make sure to pick something with a positive, energizing vibe so it doesn’t have the opposite effect and lull you into a sleepy state.
5. Sing Along
Sing along to your favorite songs while you drive! The act of singing and focusing on the lyrics can help keep you alert, as well as providing a fun way to stay awake.
6. Talk To Someone (If Possible)
Having someone in the car with you is an ideal way to stay alert while driving. Talking with a friend or family member can help pass the time and keep you awake, plus they may be able to lend an extra pair of eyes on the road in case you start to feel drowsy.
7. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Drinking sugary drinks might seem like a good idea to give you a burst of energy, but they can have the opposite effect and make you crash. It’s better to stick with water or other hydrating beverages.
8. Move Around
Taking regular breaks also gives you the chance to move around and stretch your legs for a few minutes. This will help get your blood flowing and your body energized. Try doing a few jumping jacks or just walking around for a bit before getting back in the car.
9. Make Frequent Stops
If you’re planning a long drive, make sure to take frequent breaks every couple of hours. This will give you an opportunity to rest and refuel without having to drive for too long.
10. Avoid Eating Heavy Meals
Eating a heavy meal can make you feel sluggish, so it’s best to avoid doing this before or during a long drive. Stick with light snacks that won’t weigh you down and try to stay away from sugary treats as well.
11. Breathe Deeply
If you start to feel sleepiness setting in, take a few moments to close your eyes and take some deep breaths. This will help get oxygen flowing throughout your body and might just be enough to help you stay awake.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you stay alert and safe while on the road. Remember, safety should always be your first priority when driving, so if you find yourself too sleepy to continue, pull over and get some rest before hitting the road again.
Good luck, and drive safely!