How to stay awake on a long road trip

Seven tips to help keep you alert behind the wheel.

How to stay awake on a long road trip

Staying alert on long drives can be difficult. Sometimes even a good night’s sleep isn’t enough to keep you from yawning behind the wheel. While you should never try to fight sleep and get behind the wheel of a car, there are some things you can do to help yourself keep alert in the driver’s seat.

Powernap
First and foremost, remember that you can’t fight sleep. If you really are worried that you might fall asleep behind the wheel, pull over and take a powernap. Pack your car in a way that allows you to lean the driver’s seat back so you can have a nap at a service station or roadside stop. It could save a life.

Bring a friend
Having company to keep you entertained, put on some great tunes and be in charge of snack distribution is one of the best ways to ensure you stay awake on a long drive. If you begin to lose focus you can take turns driving and entertaining.

Workout – your face
While face exercises are often used to help prevent and reduce wrinkles by toning facial muscles, they also help to keep you awake. Smart Travel recommends trying a few techniques on long road trips.

  • tightly purse your lips while your mouth it wide open
  • open your eyes and raise your eyebrows
  • suck in your cheeks
  • extend your jaw and move it from side to side.

Caffeinated drinks on hand

If you’re a coffee drinker, good. Whether you’re buying it on the way or have a thermos packed for the road, drinking black coffee can help perk you up. The darker and more bitter the coffee the better it will be, as the taste will give you a jolt before the caffeine has even entered your bloodstream. Energy drinks and No-Doz pills can also help, although it’s important not to be dependent on caffeine to keep you alert.

Don’t get too comfy
Getting too comfortable makes it all the easier to doze off behind the wheel. Now I’m not saying you should be sitting on a bed of nails, but keeping the temperature low and your seat upright can help to keep you more alert. If you start to get a little dreamy, crack a window and let the rushing air perk you back up.

Good snacks
When I say ‘good’, I don’t mean your favourite bag empty calorie chips or lollies. Those snacks will likely give you a short energy boost followed by a crash. ‘Good’ snacks are those with a higher protein than sugar content and will slowly release energy to help keep your mind and body alert on the drive.

Podcast
Listening to an intriguing podcast or audiobook can help to keep you entertained and alert. I’ve found that mystery podcasts or action-packed audiobooks keep me sitting up and wide eyed. A long trip is also the perfect opportunity to learn something new or have a laugh alongside a comedy podcast. 

How do you stay awake on long drives? Would you consider a road trip when restrictions lift?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    zeus
    15th Aug 2020
    5:31pm
    Regular stops, followed by a short walk to stretch the legs and breaths of fresh air also help. If travelling with someone else, it’s a good idea to agree before the trip to take turns behind the wheel.
    eckac
    16th Aug 2020
    9:23pm
    One of the most important (and effective) tips is - don't eat a big meal within a couple of hours before commencing the drive and don't eat one during the drive whatever time of the day you start the trip.
    This is from firsthand experience when I did momentarily fall asleep on one of my then fortnightly 3 hour drives each commenced at the end of the working week, because I had a full meal before setting out. In the following years of this routine I had no problem as I delayed the meal until the destination.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles

    You May Like