If you’re driving drowsy, you might as well be driving drunk. In my last blog, I explored the ways drowsy driving and drunk driving are similar. This time, I want to take a look at ways to prevent drowsy driving, especially if you know you’re at risk. Here are four ways to keep from driving sleepy:
1. Allow adequate time for sleep.
This one seems like a facepalm – super obvious. Still, in our busy day-to-day, it’s the easiest to overlook. Sleep is the first thing that falls off the to-do list. Put it back in its place at the top of your list to keep yourself, your family, and others’ families safe every time you drive. According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function optimally.
2. Pay attention to your sleep hygiene.
Sometimes just putting in the hours isn’t enough. If you’re staring at the ceiling instead of snoozing, investing a little time into your sleep routine, bedroom environment, and stress management techniques can make the difference.
3. Get treated.
If you have regular insomnia or if you suspect you might have sleep disorders like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, seek treatment. If you feel like you should be getting enough sleep but are still sleepy during the day, an undiagnosed sleep disorder may be to blame.
4. Don’t drive intoxicated.
If you know you’re feeling a little less than alert, it’s particularly important not to have a beer or take any kind of medication with a sedative effect before you drive. The effects of these kinds of sedatives are compounded if you’re already sleepy, so you can be far more intoxicated than you think you should be.
Do you take steps to keep from driving drowsy?