If you love being on the road, then you have probably had to fight off pangs of sleep every now and then – especially on longer drives. Who can blame you? We’ve all fallen victim to the gentle hum of the car when we have seemingly endless road stretches ahead as our only view.
Maybe you can fend off falling dead asleep with some serious self-control – and we hope you do. But the drowsiness will be endangering anyhow because driving requires one’s complete attentiveness. Being sleepy-eyed will slow down your cognitive process and reflexes.
Though it may seem otherwise, long journeys do not necessarily have to be a life-threatening feat; there are many different ways to help you stay alert when driving and just focus on having a good time instead of worrying about ending up in a crash.
Get Some Shut-Eye
This may sound obvious but get some sleep before you hit the road. Even if you haven’t been sleeping your full eight hours generally, a one-hour power nap will be more than enough to provide you with the mindfulness you’ll need on your journey later on.
If that still doesn’t do it for you and you find your eyes drooping to scary lows, then find a safe parking spot, throw that chair back and take a little catnap before going on your way.
Crank It Up
One of the best counters for boredom: good ol’ entertainment. Make a playlist just for the road if you love listening to your own music in the car. When the same songs going on a loop get boring, switch to the radio for a change.
Though looking at videos is highly advised against, you can always try audiobooks for your favourite genres. No matter what your tune, be sure to turn the volume up a little past your comfort zone. Maybe even sing or dance along to chase that blues away. It’s all in the head.
Long drives would probably not be as sleep-inducing if you didn’t have to sit in the same position continuously. Shake off that laziness and get moving. There are lots of simple exercises and stretches that will make you feel stimulated.
Step out the car and stretch your arms and legs. If you have time, then maybe even take a ten-minute sprint around the area – that will surely wake you up!
Take a Breath
Many people underestimate the power of simple, fresh air. A blast of clean air is exactly what the mind needs sometimes, and it’s even better if the wind’s cooler. Think of it this way; don’t you feel sleepier when you are all warm and snuggled up? That’s exactly what you need to avoid.
Keep in mind, however, that keeping your window down will only work as a temporary solution. Eventually, your body will adjust to the new temperature and you’ll have to look for some other way to stay alert.
Focus On Your Fuel: Food
Lastly, if you want to be fuelled throughout your journey, then you need to eat well. Put the snacks and the sugar on the side in favour of some more nutritious food. Foods like lean meat, fruit, veg and wholegrain bread can help to fuel your body for the rest of your trip.
If you stave off the temptations of chocolate and other treats, you’ll be thankful later on when you still have energy.
Don’t Forget To Drink Water
Many drivers completely forget one important thing while driving: hydration. Being low on water levels often causes fatigue and makes your mind prone to errors. So carry sufficient amount of water bottles with you on the road and be sure to top up every time you take a stop.
If you’re not into water then you may take along your favourite beverages but be sure to avoid alcohol.
Play It Safe
Despite all these precautions and tips, you may still find yourself inclined to take a nap on the road. Don’t worry, it’s only natural, especially if you’re driving at small hours. So just pull over and take a rest till you’re assured that you can completely focus on driving.
Perhaps you may be in a hurry, but it’s always a better idea to be late and play it safe than put your life (and other people’s safety) in danger. Have a great and safe drive!