Fighting Sleep Deprivation on the Road
Experts say that sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road. While it can be tempting to drive straight through the night to finish that last leg, follow these tips to stay safe.
Am I Too Tired To Drive?
Here are signs to be wary of when you’re driving:
- Frequent blinking and heavy eyelids
- Wandering, disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles or missing traffics signs
- Repeated yawning
- Drifting from your lane or difficult gauging the distance between your vehicle and other drivers
- Feeling restless and irritable
Here are a few tips that we recommend to help you stay awake and keep you, and your fellow drivers, safe:
Taking short naps throughout the day has been proven to be more effective to stay well-rested than just sleeping through the night (although a good night’s sleep will certainly help fight drowsiness!). Taking an hour-long power nap before you hit the road, or 20-minute cat naps as you need them on the road can help you fight fatigue and increase road awareness.
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
We all know that a gas station dinner of taquitos and Mountain Dew can be a quick fix when you’re on the road, but quicker isn’t always better. While fast food is convenient, it doesn’t do any favors for your sleepiness, not to mention personal health. Foods containing complex carbs and proteins will give you more energy and last longer than a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
It can be tempting to chug coffee or soda for that caffeine hit when you’re feeling sleepy, but caffeine wears off faster than the effects of good old water. Drinking a gallon of water a day has not only shown to help with dehydration and fatigue; it also increases metabolic rates. While you may think more water equals more visits to the restroom, consider this: caffeine is a diuretic, so not only will it increase your need to relieve yourself, it also increases dehydration, which is one of the leading causes of fatigue.