Stay Awake While Driving – No matter what time of the year it is, it’s always great to hit the open road and go on a road trip. But what happens if your road trips involve lots of driving, and you are worried about dozing off?
Going on a road trip is an adventure. They can lead us to places and create new experiences in our lives.
But sometimes when we have been driving for most of the day, we try pushing ourselves to stay on the road a little longer than we should.
No matter how many rumble strips there are on the highway, if you are dozing off, you need to find ways to stay awake while driving to reach your final destination.
I love road trips, there is nothing that I like better than going long distances across the country, and exploring new parts of the country I have never seen before.
But there have been a few close calls on some of the long-distance road trips, that I am lucky to be alive today to tell the tales.
If you are planning a road trip soon, and wanting to find ways to stay awake while driving, here are seven ways to stay alert for your next road trip.
7 Best Ways to Stay Awake on Long Drives During A Roadtrip
Stay Caffeinated While Driving
Caffeine is a stimulant. When it reaches your brain, it causes you to be alert. You feel more awake and less tired. It’s the perfect cure to keep sharp and stay awake on long drives.
But when it comes to caffeine intake, be strategic with any beverage you are drinking that has caffeine in it so you can maintain that boost in alertness.
Depending on your body weight, most people need at least 100 milligrams to 200 milligrams to help you stay awake and alert.
If you are curious about what 100 milligrams of caffeine looks like, a 5-ounce cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine.
If coffee isn’t your thing, you can try drinking caffeinated tea and sodas.
Side Note: Caffeine sometimes causes side effects like restlessness, insomnia, headaches, dehydration, and Anxiety. So keep that in mind if you are overdoing it on the caffeine.
Related Article: 6 Amazing Smart Water Bottles Reviewed – Stay Hydrated
Eat Healthy While Snacking
When you are driving long distances, the bordum will start kicking in and may start snacking to stay awake while driving.
The key to snacking while driving is to make sure that you are eating healthy along the way.
Before you start driving for the day, load up a cooler full of snacks like bananas, nuts, cheese, and protein bars to maintain your energy levels so you can stay alert while driving.
The key to snacking while driving is to avoid snacks loaded with sugar which can cause a sudden burst of energy followed by an energy crash that could put you in a food coma.
Never Drive Alone If You Can
Having a partner in crime in the vehicle while enjoying a long road trip is a great cure for not dozing off while driving.
Having another person in the car just to talk to with driving, makes the road trip manageable, and they can let your know when it’s time for a break in driving.
Plus with that extra person in the car means more pee breaks that can give you time to take a break from driving for a few minutes.
If you are driving alone and looking for ways to stay awake during a long-distance car ride, load up your smartphone with your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks to keep you going.
Air Conditioning Is Your Friend
I don’t know about you but when I am at home and the heat is cranked up in the house, I will fall asleep in minutes.
If you are driving and trying to find ways to stay awake, keep the inside temperature of your vehicle cool.
While I don’t suggest turning your vehicle into an icebox, just keep it at a few degrees lower than your perfect temperature.
Ways of doing this by either adjusting the air conditioning or opening a window to let some fresh air into the vehicle. This way you can stay awake when you need to.
Check Your Posture
Have you ever been on a long road trip whereby the end of the first day of driving you are suffering from an achy back, stiff neck, and sore shoulders?
The vehicles we drive are the cause of the problem. Why? Because most car seats are not built properly for the curvatures of our lower back which puts a strain on our spines.
Plus, many compact cars made today don’t offer the proper amount of legroom or headspace to accommodate drivers traveling long distances.
The result of this is that it forces us to contort our bodies in positions that are not healthy for our posture.
To help improve your posture while driving is to ensure that you support your back by lifting your hips, not sitting too close to the steering wheel, leaning back a little, and adding lumbar support for your back will help you stay awake and pain-free while you drive.
Get Enough Rest
One of the best ways to stay awake while driving on a road trip to make sure you got enough shut-eye the night before.
On a good day, many of us don’t get enough sleep in our daily lives. So if you combine excessive sleepiness in a vehicle on a long drive, the risk of falling asleep increases significantly.
Here Are Some Warning Signs That Can Cause You To Be Sleepy While Driving:
- Having problems focusing and blinking constantly
- Drifting into another lane, swerving, or hitting the rumble strips
- Having trouble remembering the last few miles driven
- Missing Exists signs while driving
- Having trouble keeping your head up
If you are doing any of these examples while driving, it’s time to find a rest stop and take a break from driving.
I remember a road trip I took from Vancouver, Canada to Los Angles over two days to make an important meeting, I had many close calls because I didn’t pay attention to the warnings signs that I was tired.
I am lucky to be alive, but others around the world pushed it further than they should and paid for it in the end. Please don’t be them.
Take a Break
While many of us on a road trip like to stay behind the wheel and push it longer than we should to get to the next destination, without taking a break can be dangerous.
Let‘s face it, driving takes a lot of concentration and skill to be safe on the road. Making frequent stops along your journey is extremely valuable to maintain your concentration for a safe and efficient drive.
A general rule that is recommended by many automobile insurance companies is to try taking a break at least 15 minutes for every two hours of driving, and not to drive more than eight hours in a day.
This will help you stay alert and prevent the associated risks of driving for too long without a rest. These risks can include falling asleep behind the wheel, running out of fuel, and lack of concentration on the road.
My suggestion, while you are on the open road, is to ensure you take regular scheduled short breaks that may add an extra hour to your drive, but will help you stay awake and alert while driving.
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