Stay Awake Behind The Wheel: 4 Natural Tips For Tired Drivers
How often do you feel tired while behind the wheel of your car? If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably had this experience at least a few times, if not on a regular basis. It’s almost unavoidable since about 40% of Americans don’t get seven hours of sleep each night, the minimum recommended by the American Academy of Sleep. But perhaps more pressing than whether you’ve gotten behind the wheel tired is what you’ve done about it. Do you keep driving or pull over? Have some coffee or push on through?
Whether to stop for coffee on the road may seem trivial, but it could be a life or death situation, either for yourself or those around you. Rather than driving drowsy, try one of these 4 natural ways to boost your energy. You need to be in possession of all your facilities to be a safe driver, but there’s more than one path to improved focus.
Before trying any natural stimulants to keep you awake on the road, it’s important that you honestly evaluate your capacity to drive. Sometimes all you need is a little jump start to get you going, but according to the Chicago car accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, it’s also true that fatigue is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. And don’t let distance be your guide – a significant number of car accidents happen within minutes of home.
Grab A Healthy Snack
Having a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea can give you a boost when you’re feeling drowsy behind the wheel, but they’re not the only option – having a snack can also wake you up, at least temporarily. Look for a sweet, but balanced option, like some fruit, that will boost your blood sugar and give you a burst of energy. Yogurt, nuts, or peanut butter on crackers are also good choices.
Add A Little Spice
Cayenne pepper is a mild stimulant compared to some other herbs and supplements, but when it comes to focusing, it could be exactly what you need. Whether you prefer to sprinkle some on your coffee, or just take cayenne pills, the pepper increases blood flow to the brain, which can help you feel more alert and temporarily improve cognitive function.
Go With Ginseng
Ginseng may be one of the oldest natural stimulants, with roots in traditional Chinese medicine, but today it’s widely added to energy drinks and other health foods. That’s because ginseng, especially in combination with Ginko, provides short-term gains in concentration and learning. It’s also been shown to boost endurance and reduce fatigue. If you’re feeling tired before your commute home, then, consider swapping out the afternoon latte for a natural ginseng-infused tea or energy beverage.
Most natural stimulants work internally, taken in food or supplements, but there’s no rule that says they need to be taken that way. Peppermint is a perfect example of this. Though it can be consumed as a tea, peppermint can also provide a temporary energy boost by means of aromatherapy. Just keep a small dropper or roller of peppermint oil in your car and take a sniff. You’ll feel more alert almost instantly.
It’s always better to pull over than to keep driving if you’re uncertain about your ability to keep awake, but if you just need a little boost to keep you clear-eyed until you arrive at your destination, these natural stimulants could be perfect. And by skipping the caffeine, you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep when you arrive – and that’s the best, most reliable answer to fatigue.