The much-awaited Christmas break is just around the corner. If you’ve had a long and tiring year from work or school, this break gives you an opportunity to enjoy a little R&R. And what could be more relaxing than going on a road trip with family or friends? Road tripping is good for your body and soul because it allows you to see, experience, and appreciate.
Yup, going on a long drive with family and/or friends to a travel destination is far more appealing than just flying to where you want to go. However, it goes without saying that long drives are taxing for the designated driver of the group, which could make him or her sleepy when driving. This, of course, could pose a problem, not just for your and companions’ safety, but for the safety of everyone else on the road. That’s because according to studies, up to 6,000 car crashes are caused by sleepy drivers every year.
So before you go jingling all the way to where you’re planning to go this Christmas season, here are a few simple tips to keep yourself awake naturally while driving:
Get a good night’s sleep[caption id="attachment_111047" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
This might seem obvious enough but you’ll be surprised at how many people still tend to forego sleeping the night before the big day. You might have trouble sleeping because of the excitement over the trip but think about the safety of the group. While our sleeping needs vary slightly from person to person, we all know that we all still need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night for our body to be able to fully recharge, feel refreshed the next day, and truly be ready for the tiring drive ahead. So if you’re going on a long drive, make sure you get enough relaxing sleep.
If you’re having trouble catching zzz’s because of your excitement, a cup of warm chamomile tea and a good book would help calm your mind and body. Also, try to invest in a quality mattress like the Uratex Airlite Cool. Its medium firm feel helps release the pressure of your body, giving you a refreshing and comfortable sleep that will help energize you for your road trip.
Have a healthy meal before the trip[caption id="attachment_111052" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Aside from a relaxing sleep, you should also get all the nutrients your body would need to be able to endure such a physically demanding task of driving for hours. And what better way to get these important nutrients than by eating a healthy breakfast before you start the long journey. Eating carbohydrates and protein-rich food such as rice, pasta, bread, and cereals can provide you with not only an energetic body but with an alert brain for longer periods of time. Drinking coffee and other caffeine-rich beverages, on the other hand, can help keep you awake while driving for a little while. However, you shouldn’t rely on them because taking caffeinated beverages heavily could make your mind and body crash eventually.
Prepare your body for the long drive[caption id="attachment_111050" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
As earlier mentioned, driving for long periods can be physically demanding. So make sure that your body would be up for it by doing a bit of stretching here and a bit of jogging there a week or two before the trip. It will also be helpful if you take vitamins B and C a week before in preparation for the long drive. These wouldn’t just provide you energy, it’ll also help boost your immune system.
Stock up on road trip provisions[caption id="attachment_111049" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Bringing enough beverages and snacks such as sandwiches, chips, chocolates, and sugar-free sodas are a must if you’re going to be on the road for at least three hours. This will not only provide you with all the sustenance you will need while driving, it will also help keep your mind occupied while you munch on those yummy treats. This is a very effective way to keep you from falling asleep while you’re on the wheel.
Another way to keep your mind occupied is to chew a piece of gum. The constant chewing can keep you busy and stimulate your brain to wake up. Just make sure that, like the sodas, your chewing gum is sugar-free as sugar can cause sugar crash, which can leave you more tired.
Utilize the “buddy system”[caption id="attachment_111053" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
If you’re going to be driving for more than five hours, it’s better if you have an alternate. One way to effectively utilize the “buddy system” is to plan the whole trip and plot your stopovers. This way, you can switch the driving and navigating tasks at designated stops. Another good thing about the buddy system is that your “buddy” could take on the role of entertaining you and keeping you alert and awake on the road. And when his or her turn to drive comes, you can do the same.
Keep the music playing[caption id="attachment_111051" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Playing your road trip playlist wouldn’t just help set the mood for the entire trip, it is can also be a great drowsy driving prevention technique. If you’re feeling a bit sluggish while driving, just play a lively music on your car stereo system and turn the volume a notch higher. So be sure to make a playlist of all your favourite music that you can play during the trip.
Plan your stops[caption id="attachment_111048" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
If you’re travelling for more than four hours, make sure that you check the map first, not only to know where you’re going but also to know where the best spots are. Ten to 15 minutes are enough for the group to empty their bladders and/or to stretch their legs during a pee stop. As for lunch and/or dinner stops, thirty minutes are more than enough to get a decent meal.
Don’t push it
No one knows your body and mind more than you do. That’s why if you’re feeling drowsy while driving, you should be able to assess yourself if you can drive longer or if you need to get some rest. But make sure that you don’t push yourself too far just to add more miles to your journey. If you feel like you’re too sleepy to continue, just pull over at the designated emergency bays or just park in a restaurant and catch some zzz’s even for a few minutes. You’ll be surprised what a power nap can do to re-energize your body.For more restful power naps while you’re traveling, use Uratex neck pillows to make yourself more comfy while you’re taking a nap in your car. Staying alert on the road isn’t just to keep yourself and your passengers safe while you’re driving; it can also keep the roads safe for everyone. Just follow these tips and enjoy road trips more knowing you’re less likely to fall asleep while you’re on the wheel.