Tips to Avoid Driving Drowsy

We all know what it’s like…your eye lids start to droop, your head starts to bob, and then all of a sudden you can’t remember if you stopped at the stop light or just blew right through it. It’s dangerous to drive while sleepy…in fact it’s as dangerous as driving drunk!
Tips to help you avoid drowsy drivng –
1. Recognize that sleep is an essential component of health and try to get the seven to eight hours each night that most people need.

2. Get treatment for sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy.

3. Avoid driving between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. when the urge to sleep is the strongest. Also be aware of the afternoon slump. Crashes due to fatigue also often occur between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. during the circadian dip in alertness.

4. Although caffeine is no substitute for a good night’s sleep, it can help alertness. So if you don’t suffer from insomnia or have a medical condition that is aggravated by caffeine, then by all means reach for a strong cup of joe when you must drive and you know that you are not your most alert.

5. Pull over. If you are having the symptoms of sleepiness, do not assume you can control the urge. Many have done so with deadly consequences for themselves and fellow travelers. Find a safe place and try to take a 10-20 minute nap. Studies have shown that shorter naps result in greater alertness and better performance.

6. Avoid driving alone for great distances especially in the middle of the night.

7. Take a break every two hours if you are driving long distances as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation

8. Parents, please, talk to your children, and especially your teens who have started driving, about the dangers of driving while drowsy.

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