Do you systematically sacrifice sleep for work and often go on business trips? Then fatigue and drowsiness – it’s not just an unpleasant feeling that bothers you from time to time, and the state in which you live constantly, no longer remembering what is vivacity and freshness. Usually you manage to overcome the desire to sleep, you collect the will in a fist and then go about their business. But, if one day you can not win drowsiness, it threatens you with serious problems.

Drowsiness is especially exacerbated when a person is engaged in some boring monotonous activity. Work with documents, the meeting of shareholders, driving… If you take a moment to doze off, examining the paper, nothing terrible will happen. And if at this point you will drive at a speed of 100 km/h? When falling asleep for only 3 seconds, the car will have time to drive 100 meters…

Falling asleep at the wheel is the cause of about 20% of all road accidents. The consequences of such an accident are always very serious, as the sleeping driver does not try to avoid obstacles or slow down. Every year 6000 Russians die in such accidents. To once your name is not added to this list, read the rules that will help you avoid “sleepy” accidents.

Before the trip

  1. If you have a long journey, a good night’s sleep the night before.
  2. If you can not sleep before traveling, half an hour before getting behind the wheel, take stimulants: drink coffee, Cola or energy. You can also take “pills for vivacity”, for example, caffeine-sodium benzoate. They are sold in pharmacies without a prescription.
  3. If possible, take a person who will be able to periodically take over the management of the car.
  4. Try not to plan a trip in the evening, at night, when sleepiness is particularly strong.
  5. It is also not recommended to drive in the afternoon, from 14.00 to 16.00. At this time, the chance to sleep more likely, compared to other hours of the day.

If while driving you feel tired, burning eyes, often yawn and blink, know: soon you can fall asleep.

During a trip

  1. The best way to get rid of drowsiness is to succumb to it for a while. Stop the car and sleep for 20-30 minutes. Before going to bed, drink coffee or strong tea: caffeine will begin to act just at the time of awakening. A short sleep will give you a” second wind”, will help to cheer up and get to the right place without adventures.
  2. Some people can not sleep in the car in the middle of the road. If you can’t sleep, stop and just sit for a few minutes with your eyes closed.
  3. As an alternative to the previous advice, you can use active methods of awakening. Some of them help you better. Stop the car, go outside, do some exercise, wash with cold water. You will feel more cheerful-go further.
  4. Overcome drowsiness can be with food, especially sweets. First, sugar gives energy, and secondly, eating is an activity that requires a certain concentration and distraction from sleep. You’re still never in my life did not fall asleep at the table, isn’t it?
  5. If you are not going alone, as fatigue increases, change with your companion behind the wheel.
  6. Your passenger can’t drive? Then just talk to him, it keeps him awake. And don’t let him sleep: it will increase your own drowsiness.
  7. Traveling alone, you feel that you” covers ” sleep, but can not stop because of the rush? Talk to yourself, sing, turn on some energetic song, call your family or friend (if, of course, you have a hands free headset). At all costs, keep yourself awake. Do not forget to change the direction of your gaze more often (closer, farther, to the right, to the left, in the rearview mirror) – when a person looks at one point, he falls asleep faster.
  8. Use special devices to prevent drivers from falling asleep. They are usually worn on the hand and record changes in the rate of human reaction. When the machine “thinks” the driver can fall asleep, it beeps.
  9. Regardless of whether you feel tired or not, every 2 hours it is advisable to stop for 10-15 minutes to take a break from driving and “get some air”. This is a good way to prevent drowsiness.

Be careful

Most of the accidents due to falling asleep at the wheel occur at the final stage of the journey, when a person is already relaxed and believes that he has fulfilled his mission and successfully reached his destination. Do not repeat the mistakes of others – remain vigilant until you turn off the car engine!

Dr. Eliza Gilmourd is an American Board Certified Sleep Specialist (DABSM) based in New Jersey. She has led and analyzed more than 300 sleep studies, including adult and pediatric patients. She is considered one of the leading practitioners in the field of sleep medicine in New Jersey. Dr. Eliza Gilmourd established SleepCare Solutions (SCS) in 2013 as an exclusive sleep disorder treatment center to provide outstanding clinical care to all patients with a wide range of sleep disorders, as well as training for patients and their families, other physicians and trainee physicians. SCS provides patients with expert consensus on individual diagnoses and management options, which may include follow-up breath tests, additional neurological examinations, or cognitive/behavioral therapy.

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