Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving

To Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving, we need to first point out why it happens. Often times, it’s a matter of simply being tired to start. But there are times, when this isn’t really the case. I have found that I am more likely to get sleepy when driving at night, or on really bright days, when it’s not blacktop I am driving on.

Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving

Avoid Falling Asleep While DrivingIt all comes down to the light. By this I mean, to Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving, we need to avoid light sources. I know this sounds a bit strange. And some of you will swear by various energy drinks and pills, but that treats the symptoms, not the cause. The cause of you falling asleep while driving at night, is the on-coming traffic and bright signage, sometimes the reflection of light from our headlights on the street signs.

Treating Causes to Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving

So here are some simple ways to treat the causes. Wear sunglasses at night. Sounds weird, sounds dangerous. Get the yellow tinted ones. We are looking for anti-glare, polarized lens’. This converts the light we are seeing to a yellow based light, which is easier on the eyes. It’s much the same as how incandescent lights are easier to read by, than florescent lights. Blue lights actually cause eye degeneration (an optician told me this).

Avoid looking at headlights of oncoming traffic, tilt side mirrors up, so we see the night more than the cars to either side. It means to change lanes, you need to look in the rear view mirrors and turn your head more fully to see if there are cars in the next lane over.

Use low beams more often. Your high beams are going to reflect the light from your headlights into your eyes.

The more we avoid the light, the less we fall asleep. I am not sure if it’s a hypnotic effect which occurs, like flashing lights, but the strobe effect on our retina, will cause eye irritation, which also makes us more sleepy.

This strange occurrence, also happens when you aren’t driving on black tar topped roads. If you are driving on dirt roads, snow covered roads (ever hear of going snow blind? It’s caused by having too much light reflected back at you), and pavement it’s more likely to occur – this is why polarized anti-glare lenses are so important.

Treating Symptoms to Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving

Now to treat the symptoms and Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving, there are of course “energy drinks” and pills, but these can be dangerous for anyone on any kind of heart or blood pressure medication.

WARNING: You should consume no more than 24 ounces per day. Kidney/Liver failure is a possibility when consuming too much of these. Do not take these drinks with other energy shots.

5-Hour Energy/Stacker. These are mostly Vitamin B, and some other perk-me-ups. Some will also have caffeine. Again be wary of medications when consuming these. Sadly, they have little to no effect on me now-a-days. It’s recomended that you take no more then 2 of these a day. See warning for energy drinks, do not stack with energy drinks.

Instead, we can try some other things to Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving.

Chewing, will cause you to move more oxygen into your brain. You can chew gum, nuts, candy, or anything else which keeps you chewing. I am not sure how it works, but just working your jaw in a chewing motion, can stimulate your oxygen flow. Even sun flower seeds – opening and consuming them can work your jaw.

Sugar does wonders, which is why if you ever read the “energy drinks'” labels, you will see that they are mostly sugar. This is especially true of Red Bull, it’s got the highest amount of sugar then any other type drink. But eating candies, which are sugary, along with chewing gets you that sugar boost that will keep you awake. The downside however is that once you stop, lethargy will start to set in.

RV Education through DVDsPower Naps! I love doing these to Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving. A power nap is a short 15 minute nap. The key to a Power Nap, is to waking before you hit the REM (Rapid Eye Movement – aka dreaming) cycle of your sleep.  There are 3 things we can do to make these more efficient. First, drink coffee before sleeping. It takes about 20 minutes for the caffeine to hit. Wear earplugs. This will make the sleep easier to get into, keep you asleep during the power nap. Finally, a bit of walking after a power nap, will get oxygen moving into your system.

Speaking of which, getting out of your vehicle and moving about will also help to move oxygen in your system, but you might find you need to do this a bit often. The problem here, is that turning off your car, and then moving about often will negate your gas mileage savings.

Tip: If you are turning off your car for a quick walk, you waste more gas if you move about for less than 5 minutes by turning it off and on again. So leave the car idling if you are going to be less then 5 minutes. 

If you have any other tricks you have found to Avoid Falling Asleep While Driving, share them in the comments below…

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