by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 27, 2010)
I love to drive. In fact, there is practically nothing else that I look forward to more than hopping in the car and taking a nice, long road trip. The freedom of the open road is an experience that is completely unparalleled. Unfortunately, I get sleepy. Driving and sleeping do not mix if you are the one behind the wheel. There are a few things that you can do, however, to help you stay awake while driving.
If you happen to be driving alone, play some music. Put on something upbeat and sing along. It is pretty hard to fall asleep while singing, and if you start to find your song getting interrupted by yawns, it's time to pull over.
Eating sugar can help you stay awake, especially when consumed in larger quantities. Beware, however, what goes up (sugar levels) must come down and the crash from a sugar high typically comes quickly and you could quickly find yourself needing a nap.
If you have company in the car, you have more options to help keep your eyes open. Talk, plan things, discuss politics, anything to keep your mind active. You can also play games such as "Eye Spy" or the "Alphabet Game." They are participation based, and you need to pay attention and interact with another to successfully play. To play the alphabet game, each person starts with the letter "A", find something that starts with that letter, and work your way through the alphabet. The first person to reach the letter "Z" is the winner. Another great game to play while driving is what I call the "Music" or "Movie" game. Again, you start with the letter "A" and name a movie that begins with that like Andromeda Strain, then the next person has to name a different movie that starts with the last letter of the last word. In this case, you could use Nim's Island.
Finally, the best way to stay awake while you are driving is to get out every so often and stretch. Stop somewhere, get out, and get something to eat or drink.
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