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How to Stay Awake While Driving

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 Staying awake while driving can be difficult when your passengers have dozed off. Photo: Cali4beach

Staying awake while driving can be difficult when your passengers have dozed off. Photo: Cali4beach


If you find that you start to get drowsy on the road, there are a few things you can do get yourself back in the alert mental state you need in order to stay focused on the road. Here, we’ve outlined some tips on how to stay awake while driving.

Short-term methods.

These are only suitable to get you a short distance when you begin feeling tired. Only proceed if you truly feel the boost of energy you need to get to your next stop.

  • Stay active. Whether its chewing gum, sunflower seeds, or snacking on chips, keeping the blood in your face flowing and something having something to do will help keep your focus.
  • Drink something. Have something to drink during your drive, preferably something caffeinated. The action of drinking will keep you active, caffeine will help keep you alert, and the occasional bathroom stops certainly don’t hurt.
  • Exercise. Pull over and take a short walk, do some jumping jacks, or perform another form of exercise to combat fatigue.
  • Turn up the volume. Sometimes cranking up your favorite jam and singing along is enough to get you to the next rest stop.
  • Put down the window. Cool, refreshing air can also help you fight sleepiness for a short time.

Long-term methods.

A healthy lifestyle will help you feel your best and combat excessive fatigue day after day.

  • Avoid fast food. Salty, greasy, and sugary foods make you tired. Instead eat a healthy meal before hitting the road, or bring along healthy snacks.
  • Take vitamins. It’s a good idea to take certain vitamins, like B and C, which boost energy.
  • Stay hydrated. Water is key to feeling your best and helps you stay awake, too.

The end-all be-all.

Research shows time and time again that the only true way to combat drowsiness is to sleep. Imagine that. While all of the above can help you get to a safe stopping point, the only safe solution is to pull over and take a 20 minute nap. Listen to your body, and know when to say enough is enough. There is just no way to replace your need for actual sleep.