With the summer vacation season starting soon, many will be driving to the beach, the lake or a favorite getaway. It’s easy to get tired driving on these long trips, and falling asleep at the wheel can have catastrophic consequences.
Here’s an easy trick to help you fight driving fatigue: eat sunflower seeds while you drive. Get a bag of salted sunflower seeds and a cup for the shells. As you drive, eat the sunflower seeds one at a time. I’ve found this works every time to keep me awake.
Here are other tips to help you stay awake while driving:
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep before your trip. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine the evening before your trip.
- Listen to the radio and sing or talk with a passenger.
- Take frequent breaks, approximately every two hours. If you start to feel fatigued, stop and take a break immediately. A 10-minute “power nap” and brisk walk around a rest area can help re-energize you for driving.
- Avoid processed, starchy foods – like white pasta, potatoes, white bread and white rice. These can cause a spike in your blood sugar, which leads to overproduction of insulin and which in turn can lead to a feeling of fatigue and tiredness.
- Increase your intake of Vitamin C.
- Exercise before driving if you can. Even just 20 minutes of brisk activity will deliver more oxygen to your body, which means you’ll feel more energetic and alert.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine. Even mild dehydration can make you feel exhausted.
- Take a multi-vitamin.
- Watch your posture. Sit up straight and wear sunglasses if driving during the day to reduce glare and eye fatigue.
- Avoid stress. Take time to relax before and during your trip (especially if your drive involves more than one day on the road).