April 22, 2017Staying Awake While Driving: The Best Tricks
Staying awake while driving should be the ultimate goal when behind the wheel. Driving tired is as dangerous as driving drunk cause it impairs both judgment and reaction time.
Although loading up on coffee and energy drinks might seem like an easy way out of the problem, it will do more harm than good.
We’ve gathered some research from the Sleep Foundation and added our own tips and tricks for a quick guide on how to stay awake on the road.
Prepare to Stay Awake On the Road
According to the Sleep Foundation, the crucial step for staying awake while driving is to prepare ahead of time. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep before embarking on a long journey is the key to keeping mind and body alert.
It is recommended to take a pre-nap just before the trip, as well as to pull over from time to time and take a 20-minute nap. Having a partner is also useful for making a schedule of naps so that both drivers are in the best possible shape.
Strategies for Staying Awake While Driving
Along with these preventative measures, we wanted to add some of our own strategies for staying awake while driving, especially if you just need a little extra nudge of help.
The Sleep Foundation frowns upon using caffeine as a method for staying awake while driving. Still, for true coffee lovers, sometimes it seems like there is no other way.
If you must get your daily dose of coffee at the crack of dawn, try not to turn to other energy drinks. Black coffee can have a bitter taste for some, and putting too much sugar and creamer makes it almost as unhealthy as an energy drink.
Try it with some natural sweetener like honey and add some unsweetened almond milk for some extra protein and taste. This will give you the boost of caffeine you need without the added sugar that crashes you right back into the ground a couple of hours later.
Whatever you choose to drink, make sure you’re also getting your daily 2 liters of water in to avoid dehydration which is nature’s most natural sleeping pill.
Healthy Ways to Stay Awake On The Road
Aside from going healthier with your caffeine intake, singing out loud or recording yourself a little voice diary is a huge help too. Having yourself talking keeps your brain engaged and thus helps to stay awake on the road.
Last but not least, for staying awake while driving the best option has to be snacking. This doesn’t have to be as complicated as cutting up vegetables and fruits but can be as easy as buying bulk snacks and simply dividing them into smaller portions.
This method will keep you snacking all day long, and the portions will be small, so your metabolism will be thanking you. It’s a better habit than eating a whole 13-ounce bag of chips to yourself!
No matter what your trick for staying awake while driving is, drowsiness behind the wheel is not something to take lightly, so if you ever feel yourself drifting to sleep, the only trick should be to pull over and sleep it off.
If you want to combat a slight heaviness of the eyelids, or the concern of a drifting stop, then check out some of these methods.