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Why Do Road Trips Make Some People Sleepy?

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If you’ve been on road trips before, chances are that you’ve witnessed someone in your crew taking a car nap en route to the destination. Some passengers just seem to have a knack for falling asleep in cars.

What’s up with this habit that some refer to as “carcolepsy”? Elite Daily’s Dan Scotti compiled and shared some results of his research on this topic. If you’ve ever pondered the scientific reasons behind carcolepsy, here’s a few potential reasons for why some passengers fall asleep on long road trips

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The white noise effect

From the sound of the engine to the whir of wheels on asphalt, cars emit a constant stream of white noise. This can help you to fall asleep by masking distracting sounds and inconsistencies in the aural environment around you.  

A relaxed state of mind

When you’re a passenger, you have a pleasant lack of responsibility that comes from not being in the driver’s seat. You don’t have to focus your full attention on the road ahead and in detecting any potential hazards to avoid collisions on the journey. This reality causes you to feel comfortable and peaceful, which in turn, might inspire feelings of drowsiness

Highway-induced trance

In “Traffic and Transport Psychology: Theory and Application,” author Geoffrey Underwood refers to the highway hypnosis phenomenon. He defines it as the trance-like state you can experience when spending a long time riding in a vehicle. Surprisingly, highway hypnosis doesn’t necessarily have to overlap with physical tiredness. Instead, it has more to do with the repetition and high predictability you experience when the road and scenery lack variance.   

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News Source: Elite Daily