Does anyone have any tips of how to avoid getting sleepy when driving?

Hi Zsuzsy,

I can't say I have the answer, I can only tell you what happens to me when I find myself so tired I cannot keep my eyes open. I certainly try the common things, opening the windows or blasting the radio, sometimes it works. When it doesn't, and I realize, oh dear, this is really bad, then I have to pull over, whether to just rest for a while, or get out of the car and walk around. Or, stop and get a coffee somewhere, and stay there and drink it. I had one scary time when I actually closed my eyes for what I thought was an instant, only to see myself heading straight for a schoolbus. I also know there are pills out there, but I don't recommend that, and I don't say this from personal experience cause I don't take pills, but they have been known to work, supposedly you can ask any trucker.

I hope you find what works for you, other than making sure you don't drive when you are so tired, or, conversely, get so tired from driving.


Comments 12 comments

Jason Stanley profile image

Jason Stanley 8 years ago

This may sound a bit compulsive, but it has worked when necessary.

It only takes about one minute total to stop the car walk around it once or twice then get back in and resume you speed. Set a timer, do it every 10 minutes. Do it even if you are not yet sleepy from the last time you did it. It will keep you awake and not allow sleep to sneak up on you.

The cost? At 60 mph you travel on mile a minute. So in one hour you will lose 6 miles - not much when you think about it. If you are in a real jam and have to be somewhere and are driving through the night, then you will lose about 30 or 40 miles total for an all nighter. That will only mean an additional drive time of 30 or 40 minutes - and a safe arrival.

Of course the best thing is, sleep through the night and drive when rested - but of course real life doesn't always play by the rules.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Jason,

This is something I never considered, or tried. I'll certainly keep it in mind, and pass it along to my daughter as well, she tends to get very sleepy when driving for an hour or more at a time.

Thanks for the tips!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Thanks Patty & Jason. It's very odd I'm an insomnia under normal conditions. 4-5 hours a night is the most I manage. Put me in a car whether I'm driving or not and I get sleepy within the first hour. Audio books work well but only if they're ones I haven't listened to (read) before. I was hoping someone might know of a magic herb tied under my nose that might work...hehehe

Thanks again regards Zsuzsy

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

You're welcome Zsuzsy, sorry I couldn't be of more help. My daughter is the same way, could have even had a good night's sleep, but put her in a car and driving any more than an hour and she wants to go to sleep. In fact, when she was a toddler and wouldn't take a nap, we would just put her in the car and go for a ride, it was magic LOL,,,

take care,


privateye2500 profile image

privateye2500 8 years ago from Canada, USA, London

Drink a lot of Red Bull.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 7 years ago

Great hub really. Few words with a great message. I love espresso but it's hard to get on the road. I tend to eat a food that comes to mind. Ice cream is what I choose often. I don't know of any "stay awake" properties in ice cream but it sure gets my brain working temporarily. I might gain weight on some trips. I think the eating and digesting helps keep one awake. I like the advice of Jason Stanley.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Micky,

As much as I love coffee, that's the extent of it, plain, unadulterated coffee. Espresso is way too strong for me, although I do like my coffee on the stronger side.

Jason has a good idea, and I'd be curious to know if it works, as I haven't driven since I wrote this where I needed to stop because of being so tired. If you should try it, I'd be interested to hear whether it worked.

Thanks so much for commenting.

Barry Wah Lee profile image

Barry Wah Lee 4 years ago from Auckland

Once, I stopped and had some oranges I had bought from a street stall. There was no hurry as I was on a holiday drive, but immediately i felt refreshed. The juicy deliciousness also had the effect of completely clearing me.

However a couple of things to consider- just putting theories out there-

There is a lot of EMF created by cars,modern cars with so much electronic control-is there less in older style ones?

There are things that reputedly take away EMF effects. I get them.

Also, the sunlight through the window is mostly UVA. The UVB has been filtered out. I try to open the window if the sun is coming my way. Many get skin cancer through windows, whether by car, or by office windows I has read somewhere??

Also, finally getting some rest at night is good. There comes a time to just relish to feel at peace a little, to share that peace even.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi Barry,

It sounds to me that perhaps your experience had not so much to do with oranges, but just the fact that you were on a holiday. When I'm on a holiday, my mind is relaxed and there is no stress making me want to just lie down somewhere to sleep.

I do like the idea of having a refreshing snack and/or drink along the way. Another alternative would be to take public transportation, or have someone drive you where you are going :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Barry Wah Lee profile image

Barry Wah Lee 4 years ago from Auckland

Oh, no, I ended up sleepy. But having stopped and then eating the oranges made me refreshed. It was an instant wake up.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi again Barry,

Then all I can say is I am glad it worked for you. I will keep that in mind for my next road trip.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Barry Wah Lee profile image

Barry Wah Lee 4 years ago from Auckland

That is OK.

I am also trying to realise if I have been working a bit hard too. My, it is easy to do too much even if having fun.

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