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Thread: Drowsy Driving

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    Drowsy Driving

    Hey, all.

    Since I've started driving long-distances, I've been having a very serious problem that is compromising my safety and others on the road. While driving, I would get incredibly drowsy, almost to the point of sleeping while driving. When I stop driving, the drowsiness would immediately subside.

    Eating crap food (like chocolate bars and drinks with a lot of sugar) helps alleviate this somewhat, but I don't want to keep doing this to my body (though today I ate a Fiber One bar and that did me good). Coffee helps a little, but fails in the long run (unless Dunkin' Donuts coffee is weak sauce). The drowsiness also subsides when I turn on the heater, full blast, but only works for a few seconds at best.

    Does anyone else have this problem?
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  2. #2
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    get more sleep.
    And don't eat the carbs. The sugar rush is followed by a crash. Which is drowsiness.

    moderate proteins and fats.... Trail mix, nuts, jerky...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariah View Post
    Transcendental enumeration.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I get five to six hours of sleep every weekday, and try to make up for that on the weekends.

    I will definitely try using low-carb snacks while driving. I pull a lot of mileage, especially around this time (century time!), so I can use all of the (simple) carbs I can get!
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

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    Unfortunately, five to six hours of sleep is not enough for most bodies (though it is pretty close to what the average American gets). The US is one of the more "under slept" countries in the world, and "the scientists" (whoever they may be) are now beginning to show that this lack of sleep has some pretty serious side effects, both health related, and awareness/alertness related.

    Whats funny is that too much sleep is also not a good thing. Studies have shown that those who get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, live longer, and are more healthy. Less than 7 hours has been shown to lead to various health issues, and longer than 9 hours has been linked with shorter life expectancy.

  5. #5
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    ^^^ What he said.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariah View Post
    Transcendental enumeration.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I usually strive for seven hours. A report I read a few months ago suggested that seven hours of sleep is most optimal for athletes and natural recovery.

    On the weekend, I can't sleep past nine hours.
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  7. #7
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    my understanding is that caffeine just tricks your body into being more alert- but your reaction and processes are still slowed.

    Unfortunately there isn't a substitute besides good old-fashioned sleep-
    having company along always helps. If thats not possible, maybe getting a headset so you can chat on your cellphone might be helpful?

    I find I have that issue when I'm wearing my glasses. Its like tunnelvision and the dotted lines are hipnotizing... that said, the dotted lines are hypnotizing to anyone especially when tired. it helps to focus on whats ahead of you/horizion, and make sure they arent pulling you in.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I've had the problem while using contacts as well.
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  9. #9
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    Same crap happens to me which is why i detest driving into work these days. Sleeping on the train then biking the rest of the way FTW.

    That being said, one of the best ways to stay awake while driving is to eat. Bring some peanuts or crackers to nibble on gradually. My theory is that it keeps the blood flowing to your head.

    I'd love to get 8 hours of sleep every night but that would mean going to bed at 7 or 8pm and i get home from work at about 4 or 5pm which means very very little R&R time during the weekdays.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

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    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psydotek View Post

    I'd love to get 8 hours of sleep every night but that would mean going to bed at 7 or 8pm and i get home from work at about 4 or 5pm which means very very little R&R time during the weekdays.
    pay now or later....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariah View Post
    Transcendental enumeration.

  11. #11
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    I'll just declare bankruptcy later and make it all disappear.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

  12. #12
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Tom would know about this. He used to drive long distances in his big truck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha
    We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by making View Post
    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

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    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siu blue wind View Post
    tom would know about this. He used to drive long distances in his big truck.
    +1
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariah View Post
    Transcendental enumeration.

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    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    My situation is similar. I normally don't get home until anytime between 7pm and 9pm, and to get proper sleep would involve me going to bed at 10:30pm. Coupled with this issue of not getting off of the computer at 10:30pm (or something coming up), it gets tough, but I have to work on it.

    When I'm driving, I intentionally postpone my trip back because traffic is always bad anytime after 5pm until at least 9 or 10, and I'm not confident that my car can handle traffic well right now.
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  15. #15
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    MC, you should get checked out. There are many reasons (not just getting only 5 hours/night, although that has to hurt) why you're getting so drowsy. You're in NY- look around for a sleep specialist. In the meantime, read this.

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    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Just imagine jsharr is sitting in the passenger seat next to you. You really don't want to fall asleep when jsharr is around. Bad things will happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psydotek View Post
    That being said, one of the best ways to stay awake while driving is to eat. Bring some peanuts or crackers to nibble on gradually. My theory is that it keeps the blood flowing to your head.
    +1.... grab a big ol' bag of sunflower seeds, a large empty cup, and you'll be entertained for hours. Or at least until your cheek/gums start bleeding.

    If you go the coffee route, get the strongest cup you can. If it doesn't make you pucker a bit, it's not strong enough for driving. I'm not an energy drink consumer very often, but it can help. Best I've tried is Syzmo, which is sweetened with agave syrup (less sugar spike/crash affect) and has a more mild blend of caffeine/vitamins. Good stuff and kept me awake.

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    Monster energy drinks are my friend whenever I drive long distances

  19. #19
    Senior Member Rex G's Avatar
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    I drive a patrol car all night long, and often don't get enough sleep during the day. I have also done a bit of marathon driving when on vacation. Solutions include frequent stops to stretch the legs and/or go on a short walk or run, avoiding sugary food and drinks, and avoiding certain types of music on the radio. Ultimately, though, there is no substitute for sleep. Better to miss a day of a seminar, as I have, and arrive alive, than not get there due to a crash.

    Keep caffeine use moderate. Large does of caffeine affect different people in different ways, but it is amazing how "awake" you can be and still do stupid things that endanger people. Then, the "crash" of coming down off a sugary or caffeinated drink/snack can be scary dangerous.

    Regarding listening material, music choice can affect things. Slow or jazzy stuff can be a terrible choice. A spirited talk show or an interesting book on tape/CD can be a much better choice, but it will take discipline to keep one's attention on the road.

    Always keep scanning. Don't fixate on the road. Scan left, center, right, center, up, center, near, far, etc. That tends to stop the mesmerizing effect of watching the center stripe or white lines.

    OK, puppies have pee-peed and run around the back yard a bit. Time for me to get more sleep myself. The job "runneth-ed over" this morning, and I got home four hours late.
    Have Colt, will travel...

  20. #20
    NFL Owner monogodo's Avatar
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    Years ago I read that it's impossible to fall asleep while chewing, so to keep from falling asleep while driving chewing gum was recommended. In all the driving I've done, when I think I may have to deal with drowsiness, I chew gum. I've never fallen asleep while chewing gum & driving. I have fallen asleep w/o the gum.

    Also, as mentioned above, audio books make a huge difference with staying awake. Just be sure to choose a book with subject matter you are interested in, and a reader who won't put you to sleep.
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    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    Yeap, for listening material, the stuff that's going to keep you awake is something unfamiliar. Listening to that CD that you've already heard 100 times isn't going to keep you awake regardless of how energetic the music is.

    I'll usually switch to a radio station that i don't listen to much or sometimes even a news station.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    A girl once asked me to give her twelve inches and make it hurt. I had to make love to her 3 times and then punch her in the nose.

  22. #22
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    This is great advice! I will try most of this on my way back home in a few hours.

    As far as the sleeping issue is concerned, I will definitely find a way to look into that. I have another symptom that's listed on there that warrants an investigation into this.

    Thank you so much, everyone!
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  23. #23
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDevil View Post
    , and longer than 9 hours has been linked with shorter life expectancy.
    Well, I guess I can expect to die anytime then....

    I get around 9 hours of sleep on the weekdays and anywhere from 12-18 hours of sleep on the weekends. Yes, that is correct. I can sleep for 18 hours. My parent's thought I was dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  24. #24
    GATC
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    I've found that caffeine doesn't help much but drinking so very much coffee that I always have to pee will keep me alert enough to reach the next rest stop.

  25. #25
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    gum, but not because the mint is killing you. The chewing action increases blood flow to the brain, so you have a higher level of readiness with an active brain.

    driving makes you sleepy because it's monotonous, try and distract yourself with CDs that make you think, but don't get too distracted.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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