Whether you’re planning a vacation, moving across country, or going to visit a good friend, driving across the country is a big undertaking. Driving over six hours to anywhere in one day is stressful, it can get boring, and it can be uncomfortable. You may also be worried about staying alert while you’re behind the wheel.
You may be excited to get where you’re going but dreading the process. That’s understandable, because if driving across the country were easy the airlines would be out of business. Here are some tips to help you get from where you are now to where you’re going as comfortably and alert as possible.
The worst thing you can do before a long road trip is fill your stomach. Not only will it make you uncomfortable, it will likely make you constipated. Constipation during trips is normal, but it’s not good to experience it while you’re stuck in a compact space for hours at a time.
Make sure your body is getting plenty of good nutrition. This will not only make you feel good, but your body will benefit from it as well. Try Thrive Experience to ensure you meet all your nutritional needs and to help you stay energized instead of bogged down.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Don’t go to bed at midnight if you have to rise at 4 am to start your journey. Get at least 8 hours of sleep prior to starting your journey.
If your trip is going to take days, try not to drive at night. Your body naturally releases melatonin when your brain senses darkness. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep.
Your best option is to stay in a hotel so your body can stretch and you can get the desired amount of sleep. If you have to stay in a rest area, get out and go for a walk. Go to sleep early because when the sun rises your body’s going to want to rise as well.
Know the Signs of Sleepiness
Know the signs of sleepiness and listen to your body if it starts giving you cues. If you start to feel tired, pull over and take a short nap. Signs you need to take a break and possibly be a nap would be:
• difficulty keeping your head up
• struggling to keep your eyes open
• drifting out of your lane
• disconnected thoughts
• repeated yawning
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to get off the road.
Take Rest Stops
Driving straight through may sound attractive, but you’re putting yourself at greater risk when you attempt it. Stopping and getting out to get a cup of coffee and stretch your legs helps stimulate your mind and revive its alertness. Try to stop at least every two hours.
Listen To a Podcast
If you’re alone, turn on your favorite podcast to keep your mind active. It can keep you distracted from the length of the drive and can also make it seem like time is passing by faster. Just as you can waste time sitting in front of the television, it can be done through active listening as well.
While you wouldn’t drink and drive, you also shouldn’t drink alcohol during your breaks from driving, even if it’s before you go to bed. Even a small amount of alcohol can make you feel drowsy. Drinking before bed can also make you feel less alert the following morning. It’s best to allow your body to remain at optimal performance until the trip is over.
Road trips can be fun, especially if you’re touring with a partner. If you’re driving alone, you’ll still see some amazing sights but you may struggle to stay alert during long stretches. Always use good judgement when traveling long distances, and do everything you can to ensure you stay alert in order to keep yourself and other drivers safe.