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7 Tips to Stay Awake and Alert on the Road

The sense of freedom that comes with embarking on that trip when you hit the open road is something special, particularly when exploring a new destination. But, when you are driving, as enjoyable and exhilarating as it may be, it is of the utmost importance that you stay awake and alert at all times when you’re behind the wheel.

So, for all of you who are maybe thinking about a road trip, or journey behind the wheel of some kind of your very own, here are some valuable tips that will help you to remain focused and free from drowsiness while you’re on the road.

road trip

1. Listen to audiobooks

Audiobooks are great because they come with genres to suit your wants needs or mood at the time. You could listen to a hotly debated topic that would get your blood pumping (not too much though), or you could choose something that’ll ease your mind and help you have a pleasant journey.

It’s about what allows you to engage and hold that segment of attention. The good thing is, it’s just like music, so you can listen away and even learn something new while your clocking up the miles.

2. Do the driving in the AM

Whenever you can, opt to do the driving in the morning, and better yet, drive after you’ve enjoyed a quality night’s sleep, the Sleep Advisor website recommends. Typically, by mid-afternoon, your body will be starting to prepare itself to crave a little nap, and by the time the sun’s setting, your internal body clock will be prepping your brain for sleep and rest.

This is all dependent on your usual daily routine, of course, so, if you stick to what your normal routine is then your body will work accordingly to your advantage. It’s also nice to set off when the roads are quiet so that you can enjoy your surroundings too.

road trip

3. Stock up on chewing gum

Not only will you look cool as you chew your gum behind the wheel, it’ll also help to keep you awake. Researchers have found that chewing gum helps maintain alertness and prevent you from feeling sleepy.

Grab some sticks of your favourite flavour or get something you’ve not tried before and give the taste buds a nice little surprise; the choice is yours!

4. Take a nap

We touched on this in the second point, but if you’re driving and are feel yourself becoming tired/sleepy then pull over at the nearest safe point you can and allow yourself 20-30 minutes to have a nap. This is the optimum length of time to benefit from a nap and it’ll be plenty to recharge the batteries before you set off again.

Don’t under any circumstance try to plough through the tired feelings as it is seriously dangerous and is never worth the risk.

road trip

 5. Think about what you eat before you set off

If you’re driving a long way, the last thing you want is to be distracted by your belly rumbling and feeling like your going to pass out because you didn’t eat before you began the trip. This also means you shouldn’t go eating junk food either.

Instead, make some good, healthy choices that give your brain and body vital nutrients, protein and some complex carbohydrates. Porridge is a good one to choose and you can pair that with a banana before you go on your way which will set you up for a good four hours before you need to eat again.

6. Stay hydrated

One thing that is also really important, apart from eating well, is to stay hydrated. Being just 1-2% dehydrated can cause the brain to lose full functionality, and this is bad news when you are driving. Take plenty of water in the car with you and have it to hand so that you can sip as you go.

Also, if you feel that you’re hungry, you could well just be thirsty, so taking some fluids on board before you eat more food. This is worth bearing in mind if you’re driving long hours over several days as you won’t be able to burn off much of the food you eat when you’re sat in the car.

road trip

7. Stop for a photo opportunity

Look, we’re not going to pretend like we don’t love a good sunrise or sunset, and we’d be lying if we said that we hadn’t posted a couple for Instagram in the past. With this in mind, it’s a cool idea to use your stops to snap a few pictures along the way, even if it’s just to document the journey.

You might come across something that really catches your eye, and driving with this in mind can help to keep you alert.


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