Tips to Stay Awake
Driving can be fun if you are doing short exciting distances. It, however, gets boring if you have to do it for hours on end. People find themselves dozing on the wheel which can be dangerous. In this article, I give tips on how to stay awake while driving long distances.
1. Make Sure You Have Slept Before Your Drive
It is important to rest your body well enough before embarking on a long distance drive. If you are to stay awake on the wheel, make sure you don’t give your body any reason to want to rest, at least not in the first few hours. This goes back days before the drive as fatigue can be cumulative.
2. Avoid Heavy Meals Before the Drive
Heavy meals will take time and energy to digest. This will drain your energy and make your body want to rest. Have you realised how your body feels lazy after a big meal especially if you are inactive afterwards? The body diverts most of its attention to digesting the food and tries as much as possible to reduce other activities. Avoid, most especially, too much fat if you want to stay awake while driving.
3. Have Someone to Talk to
You have to be active to give your body a reason not to shut down. But there aren’t many activities you can engage in while on the wheel are there? The only thing you can safely do is talk to someone in the passenger seat. Just that little activity will give your body a reason to stay awake. Do not, however, talk on the phone, especially if its handheld. This might lead you to accidents, which is the very thing we are trying to avoid.
4. Use Energy Drinks With no Caffein
Most energy will give you a burst of energy then outright leave you feeling drained. That would be sugar/caffeine energy drinks. Try to get one that is caffeine for. It will keep you energetic and help you stay awake while driving, but once it wears off it won’t take a drain at your energy. 5 hour Energy can do the trick.
5. Keep Your Windows Open
Having a breeze in your car will keep your body ‘uncomfortable’ enough to not want to sleep. Well, at least until it adjusts to the breeze. Warm stagnant air will definitely encourage sleep.
6. Play Some Upbeat Music
Music will keep your brain engaged and active so long it is not soothing. Anything a bit on the noisy side will help you stay awake. Gather up your favourite happy jovial tracks and have them playing all the way.
7. Take Short Breaks
Well, if you find yourself tired, you might want to just take a break for a while. Five minutes of leg stretching and whatever activity might be suitable will do. If your drive is really long, you could even put aside 20 minutes for a nap. It is better to sleep for 10 minutes off the wheel, then stay awake driving.
8. Have Something to Eat or Chew On
The whole point is to keep you active. Have something light to eat as you drive so long it is not heavy. We are talking simple snacks that you enjoy in order to keep your brain excited to avoid drowsy driving.
9. Stay Awake Devices
This one is relatively new. There are stay awake devices that have been invented to help you stay awake while driving by measuring your skin conductivity, which is called Electrodermal activity. EDA is an indicator of brain activity. If it gets too low, the stay awake device alerts you.
All the Brain Wants is Novelty
All the brain wants is novelty to stay awake while driving, or with any situation for that matter. You can combine the above tricks including the use of stay awake devices along the way just to keep things fresh. If you, however, think it would be likely for you to feel sleepy even with these tips then do not try to be super and just get a second driver to swap with.