How to Stay Awake when Driving: 51+ Proven Ways

There are times when we have to embark on a long journey and we are not well-rested. We feel tired and eventually, doze off. This is very wrong and we can meet with some fatal accidents.

tips to stay awake while we drive.

One should never drink and drive. Drinking induces confusion and drowsiness. It is one of the primary reasons behind countless accidents. Drunkards are often fined for this cause. Book a taxi if you have had too much.

If possible, avoid driving long distances alone. Driving alone can be boring and monotonous. If you have no one to talk to or interact with, you have a high risk of falling asleep. Keep a company or a pet so that at least you will have someone to interact with.

Get enough shut-eye. You must have adequate sleep the day before the journey. Getting enough sleep is mandatory. You will be refreshed and can drive with lots of energy and enthusiasm.

Avoid beginning a trip late so that you do not have to drive when you usually sleep. Try and be punctual. Start the trip within the stipulated time so that you do not have to rush to reach the destination. Avoid the time periods when you usually nap at home.

Watch your posture. You sit straight and start noticing the difference. A slouchy posture can make you feel sleepy and it is dangerous. Make sure you are driving keep your backs straight.

Take small breaks to have coffee or snacks. Get out of the car and inhale fresh air. Relax your mind, fill your tummy, and then again start driving. Stretch after every two hours.

Have caffeinated drinks like coffee. A single cup of coffee may not suffice. Two pumps of coffee hit you in a different way and energize you. It will rejuvenate the mind and shoo away the sleepiness.

Think naps can be helpful. Pull over when you feel essentially drowsy. Find a proper parking space and take a short half-hour power nap. Lock the doors and park your car. Set an alarm and this will help you feel energized.

Drive with a partner. A partner can talk and distract the sleeping pattern. Switch drivers every two hours, if the other person can. Sleep while your partner drives, but make sure you are in the back seat. This way you will reach on time.

Stay hydrated, drink caffeine. This is the key to stay awake properly. Drink plenty of water, since dehydration is the main cause of drowsiness. Caffeine boosts your energy and helps you stay alert for a few hours.

Take your time. If a person feels tired and exhausted after driving for long hours, he should stop. Take as many breaks as you please. Do not try to speed. It is better to arrive late safely than not at all.

Avoid driving between midnight and 6 in the morning. This is the usual time when people sleep. It is better to avoid a regular sleep schedule. Sleeping becomes irresistible and a person does not feel like driving. 

Eat healthily. One should fill his/her stomach with good nutrition, like fruits, vegetables, etc. they give energy to the body. Whereas junk food is often loaded with fat and hence makes you feel tired and bloat.

Sit up straight. Do not slouch on the seat while driving. This will result in you falling asleep. A good posture will give you more control over your driving pattern, and improve your hand-eye coordination. ‘

Drive alert. Keep an eye on little things that cross your vision. This way, your brain will feel more inquisitive and you will learn new things without falling asleep.

Move when you get tired. Come out of the car, breathe in, and stretch. Do some easy cardio like jumping jacks. The body will be shaken up and the blood flow will increase.  Your mind will be more active after this.

Chew gum. This is a trick that prevents a person from yawning. Select a sugar-free gum, and keep chewing. This will keep you engaged and automatically help in reducing tiredness.

Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol is a big no-no. For people who drive, never consume alcohol or drugs before that. This will make your brain go haywire and you will feel drowsy and sleepy.

Avoid medications that make you feel drowsy. This is another way to help you stay awake. Avoid taking certain syrups, or medicines, that suggest you take rest after having them. They make you feel exhausted and you sleep.

No sleep debt. When you are preparing for a long drive, make sure you get adequate sleep beforehand. Sleep for 8 to 9 hours at a stretch. Give your body rest and this way you will feel relaxed before going.

Take breaks. Do not get carried away by the very thought of reaching the destination quickly. Plan for breaks to eat and freshen up. Squeeze in power naps if possible. this will ensure a safe and secure ride.

Arrive by midnight. This is the time the body craves to sleep. This is the most dangerous time to drive. Try to split up the trip and spend a night in a hotel if needed. Plan beforehand so that the schedule is not disrupted.

Take turns to drive. If there is a group with you, make sure you rotate. Decide slots of who will go behind the wheel and when. This will give you time to relax and also enjoy the scenery.

 Know the warning signs. Take the hints which your body gives you. If you cannot remember the last few moments of your route, or you are yawning, stop immediately. Hand the wheel to someone else if you cannot keep your eyes open.

Plan ahead and take a nap. If you are aware of the plans, you make sure to plan beforehand. Take a power nap before you embark on the journey. Check the rest stops and safe parking lots beforehand. Switch drivers as and when needed.

Avoid consuming sleep-inducing foods. Sugary foods must be avoided before a long journey. Do not consume alcohol in the last 24 hours. Hypoglycemia can literally lead to a sugar crash making you feel super sleepy.

Keep coffee close. Any caffeinated beverage can cure this falling-asleep syndrome. They block fatigue causing receptors from reaching the brain and make you feel wide awake. Keep some coffee handy just in case you need it.

Consume energy-inducing foods. The way you munch on can be beneficial when driving. If your mouth is busy, it will not have the time to yawn. Only consider snacks that are easy to pop and boost energy levels. Certain natural seeds and supplements will do the job.

Tune into circadian rhythms. This is the body clock. It tells your body when to do the necessary jobs. This rhythm and driving schedule have certain effects on the fatigue pattern. It shows that fatigue level increases in the evening rather than mornings.

Take note of Daylight Saving Time. Studies show that this results in road-related accidents. Adjust your sleeping patterns to compensate for the loss of sleep from a month ago.

Work remotely, if possible. Ask your employer if you can do the same works on a rotational basis. This way you can avoid driving daily, and still get your work done.

Try to make a habit of getting enough sleep. Most adults should have at least eight hours of sleep daily. The ones, who do not abide by this, are at a higher risk of getting involved in a car accident. Many teenagers do not stress about this, and they feel more tired behind the wheels. 

Check the side effects of any pill you are having. Even legal amounts of dosage can cause fatigue and drowsiness. Allergy pills may induce feelings of sleepiness. So make sure you are aware of the effects and rather use public transport after having them.

Make sure you do not drive in the late hours. If this cannot be avoided, be as vigilant as possible. Watch out and keep an eye on other drivers too.

Improve sleep hygiene. This means the habits and practices that one takes up to help ensure an adequate amount of sound sleep. When you practice having high-quality sleep, you are more alert and well-rested for the journey.

Optimize your sleep space. Sleep in a dark and quiet room before the journey. The room temperature should be comfortable for you. This way you can rest well and feel fresh.

Keep electronic goods out of the bedroom. If you have a habit of sneaking out on cell phones, make sure you emit all the blue light that can interfere with your sleep.  Do not use any devices 30minutes before bedtime.

Avoid coffee right before bed. Caffeine can disrupt your sleep. It is best to avoid such foods before sleeping. Alcohol before bedtime can also disrupt the sleeping pattern. If you cannot sleep properly, you will feel tired and sleepy during the drive.

Do not stew in bed. Relocate if you feel like you cannot sleep. If you loiter around, you are less likely to fall asleep and feel tired the next day.

Drive with a friend. If you have a long commute, you can drive with a partner. You can switch places, or talk about random things just to stay awake. If you are driving to a commonplace, make sure you drive with that person.

Nothing can substitute for a good rest. A short nap can get you slow-wave sleep. It improves rapid eye movement. So try and take a short pre-drive nap even for a few hours to feel refreshed and alert.

Put on some music. You can groove to your favorite tunes and stay alert. Play the songs you know, sing along and stimulate your brain cells. Put some energetic tracks to get you pumped and wake you up. Music has always been linked to mental awareness.

Have a stimulant handy. A stimulant like instant coffee hits you differently. Just one cup can reduce sleep deprivation and wake your drowsy self-up. A stimulant can reduce your risk of crashing.

Do not drive drowsily. This can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Sleep reduces bodily functions like blood pressure and heart rate, or accuracy of eyesight which are necessary for safe driving.

Consult a doctor. If you find this drowsiness persisting, consider taking medical help. It could be a medical condition such as sleep apnea. To stop feeling sleepy every time you drive, take professional help.

Learn when to stop driving. Sometimes, various strategies do not work since the body and mind just give up. You can be too tired to operate a vehicle. Uncontrollable yawning, a continuous wandering mind, heavier eyelids are some of the examples.

Check your behavior. If you see you have drifted to the wrong lane, or a driver is honking at you for your rash driving, realize that it is time to switch positions with another driver. Pull over as soon as possible. 

Share a ride. If you are not feeling well, share a ride with a co-worker or an acquaintance. Ask someone you know to give you a lift or consider other options so that you can skip driving.

Walk to the destination. If it is close enough and safe for you to walk, consider that. Avoid driving if you are sleep-deprived or tired. Walking will make you feel safe.

Ride a bicycle. It is more engaging and is great cardio for your entire body. Wear a helmet and choose a less congested route. Use share programs if possible. This way you can stay awake and still reach the destination. 

Use scooters or bike-share programs. Many cities offer these programs for individuals. Choose any share programs and hire a bike if you are lone and feeling drowsy. They will drop you off safely at your destination.

Take a bus. It can be a slower option, but a tired person can rest, close his eyes, or even sleep. You will also save some carbon footprints.

Ride the subway or the metro. If you live in an urban area, you have the facility to board a subway. They cover extensive areas and connect the entire city. You can reach your destination in an air-conditioned coach, and take your due rest before reaching. 

Use a sharing app. There are companies that provide app cabs at affordable rates. Even if they are a bit pricey, you can consider them for short distances. You save your fuel, maintenance, and also your life if you are too tired.

Call a taxi. If there are services available, call a taxi. If you b feel sleepy halfway through the journey, park the car in a slot for the rest of the day and hire a ride. In a taxi, you can sleep until you reach the destination.

Join a carpool. Ask the employer or the institution for certain programs. Many offer subsidized shared driving options. This way, you can give your fatigued soul some rest. 

Have fun while driving. Talk to your friends; discuss every possible thing while you drive. Just make sure not to shift your focus from the road. Listen to the blabbering, and see your sleep vanish. You will want to reach the destination at your earliest.

Take small halts. Stop the car to have some coconut water from a shanty, or have some tea. Click pictures. These 5 to 10 minutes gaps can energize your mind and help you stay alert while you drive. 

Make up your mind not to sleep. Promise yourself not to sleep. Your mind can influence you like no one. If you believe in yourself, you can reach the destination being all alert and safe. Try different tricks which you know will help you stay awake.

Understand the root of the story.  Learn why you fall asleep. Try and correct it from the roots. If you need rest, take it beforehand. Make sure you maintain a lifestyle that you know will be beneficial. If there is some specific problem, seek medical help.  


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