Not everyone finds it easy to get a good night’s sleep. There are 83 different types of sleep disorders including insomnia and in our fast-paced world, more and more people suffer from them today than ever before. But what kinds of things can cause insomnia? The number one cause of insomnia for both adults is stress. Worrying about work, money issues, family, and personal relationships can all lead to a build-up of stress which can, in turn, cause insomnia. Other causes include stomach ache, snoring and sleepwalking.
Sleep deprivation can be a serious problem, particularly if you start getting drowsy while you’re driving. Though you may not realize it, going for 18-24 hours without sleep poses a similar risk as being legally drunk.
Signs That You Are Too Tired to Drive
Sometimes it’s not easy to tell when you’re too tired to drive. Here are some signs that you should not be behind the wheel.
- Blurred vision, heavy eyelids, frequent blinking
- Wandering thoughts, daydreaming
- Missing traffic signs or exits
- Inability to remember the last few miles
- Difficulty keeping your head up
- Repeated yawning and rubbing eyes
- Drifting from your lane
Here are some tips on what to do when fatigue and drowsiness hit while you are behind the wheel.
Give yourself a caffeine shot: So, you barely slept last night and now you’re getting ready to drive your Dodge Grand Caravan to work and you can hardly keep your eyes open. Drink some coffee. Caffeine can increase your mental alertness, but you need to give it at least thirty minutes to kick in. Remember the effects of caffeine will wear off after a couple of hours.
Pull over: If you’re getting tired, pull over. Get some fresh air and stretch your legs. If that’s doesn’t help take a catnap until you feel ready to drive again.
Take a buddy: If you’re going on a long road trip, take a friend with you and pull over and change seats every couple of hours.
Crank up your music: Playing your favorite tunes will affect your mood, which in turn will make you feel less drowsy, so turn up the dial and sing along.
Use an app: Place your smartphone on your windshield and Drive Awake will track your eye movements. If it notices that your eyelids are drooping, it will sound an alarm and suggest you pull over at the next exit and get a coffee.
Open your windows: Let some fresh air in. Don’t get too warm and cozy behind the wheel if you’re feeling tired or you’re sure to fall asleep. Let that cool breeze blow the cobwebs away.
If you find yourself falling asleep behind the wheel of your car, pull over and take a nap. Don’t take the risk of trying to make it to your destination. If you do, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk.