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8 Ways to Avoid Sleep While Driving

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Update: May 12, 2023
3 min read

Written by

Manya Mishra
Content Writer
How To Avoid Sleep While Driving

When you are behind the wheel, and a wave of sleepiness hits you, it is essential that you immediately pull aside. Driving when you feel sleepy can be extremely dangerous, almost like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But there are methods to combat this drowsiness. Today, we bring you eight ways on how to avoid sleep while driving. Read ahead for more.

What Is Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy driving is the amalgamation of extreme fatigue and sleepiness when you are driving. Usually, it occurs when the driver hasn’t slept adequately before getting behind the wheel. But it can also be because of certain medications, drinking alcohol, poor sleep cycle, or shift work. When you feel sleepy while driving; 

  • It reduces your attention span when driving 
  • Your reaction time gets reduced if you have to brake or steer suddenly 
  • You might not be able to make proper decisions 

What Causes Drowsiness While Driving?

The leading causes of drowsiness while driving are;

  •  Studies have shown that driving when sleepy due to sleep deprivation can have a greater impact on overall driving impairment when compared to alcohol.
  • Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea can cause drowsy driving.  
  • Alcohol: If you have consumed alcohol or certain drugs, it can lead to sleepiness when you are behind the wheel.

Drowsiness can also affect people who drive for a living, such as bus drivers, people who work in shifts, have taken medicines that induce drowsiness, or have poor sleep patterns.

How to Avoid Sleep While Driving?

Take a look at easy tactics for staying awake while driving. 

1. Get Enough Sleep

One of the best ways on how to avoid sleep while driving is to ensure you get enough sleep before you get behind the wheel, especially if you are travelling long distances or between states. 

2. Avoid Alcohol if You Plan to Drive

Alcohol can adversely affect your driving ability and put you at risk of accidents. In addition, just one drink can hamper your reaction times, vision, judgment, coordination, and concentration.

3. Don’t Time Your Drives Around Peak Sleepiness Periods

Make sure you don’t go on drives during the peak sleepiness period. Instead, always plan your drive ahead. Usually, the peak sleepiness periods are midnight to 6 A.M. and late afternoon is the peak sleepiness period. Hence, avoid these times. 

4. Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is the practice of getting adequate quality sleep every night. It ensures that you are well-rested and alert. Some of the tips you can follow to improve your sleep hygiene include,

  • Have a consistent sleep schedule 
  • Make sure your room is comfortable 
  • Get some exercise every day
  • Avoid large meals, too much caffeine or alcohol 

5. Drive With a Buddy 

If you are planning to go on a road trip or a long commute, see if you can drive with a buddy. So, when you feel sleepy, your buddy can take charge of driving for a while. 

6. Take A Nap Before Your Long Drive 

How to not fall asleep while driving? A good rest can help you drive better. If you cannot get a healthy amount of sleep before your journey, make sure you at least nap for 15 to 30 minutes, as it will refresh you. 

7. Listen to Music 

One of the best ways how to avoid sleep while driving a car drowsy driving is to listen to some upbeat music. Singing along can stimulate the brain and keep you alert when you play the songs you know.

8. Have Some Caffeinated Beverages 

Caffeine is a stimulant that is known to keep you alert and awake. A 2012 study showed that it could reduce sleep deprivation’s effects and combat drowsiness as you drive.

What Not to Do to Avoid Sleep While Driving?

Some people are under the impression that opening your windows, playing music too loud, or even talking to a friend while driving can keep you awake. While these may seem like great ideas, they don’t actually work. However, it can be distracting and reduce your concentration.


If you are planning to go on long trips and want to avoid drowsiness, follow the above-mentioned tips. However, if you are feeling too sleepy, you must pull your car aside and take a break. Please don’t drive when you are extremely tired or sleepy, as it can be dangerous.


Can you help me stay awake while driving?

Drinking a cup of coffee can help you stay awake while driving. However, if you feel too tired or sleepy, it is essential to take a break.

How can I stay awake while driving without caffeine?

Try the above-mentioned tips to stay awake with caffeine.

What should I drink for a long drive?

Consume water as it not only keeps you hydrated but also helps you stay alert and awake.

What do truck drivers use to stay awake?

Truck drivers mostly rely on caffeine and drink coffee or tea for a little pick-me-up when they feel drowsy.


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Written by

Manya Mishra
Content Writer
Bachelor's Degree in English Literature 7 years of experience as a content writer Has experience writing for various industries, including health and wellness, travel, and technology

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