Planning a sober ride when a night of plenty drinks is on the docket is a no-brainer. But it’s not just drugs and alcohol use that can impair your driving.
When you are facing long-term sleep deprivation or extreme exhaustion after a long day, it’s unsafe to go behind the wheel. Say you pull an all-nighter to take care of your baby who is sick or catch up on work. Once you hit the 24-hour mark of being awake, your drowsiness might make it seem like your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit. Essentially, if you drive while drowsy, then your awareness level and ability to judge a situation won’t be as strong as it would be if you were well-rested.
When you are struggling to keep your eyes open, then there is a higher chance that you will crash on the road. To prevent this from happening, there are ways you can adjust your sleep habits to be a more attentive driver:
- Consistent sleep: According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, each adult should aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night. On top of that, going to bed at the same time every night will also help you feel more refreshed each day.
- Shorter naps: Even with a regular sleep schedule, you’ll wind up tossing and turning some nights. However, it’s best you reset or return to your normal sleep schedule as soon as possible, rather than taking a long nap or sleeping in late the next day. Instead, if you feel too sleepy to carry out your day or drive, a short, 20-minute nap taken before 3 p.m. may help restore energy.
- Medical help: If you’ve tried plenty of tips to sleep better yet haven’t seen improvement, then you might need to see a doctor. If it takes you a while to fall asleep, you wake up several times through the night or crave and take many naps, then you might have a sleep disorder. So, getting a proper diagnosis and treatment might open new paths to restful nights.
No matter where your sleep routine lacks or what health issues you face, pulling over safely should go without saying if you begin to feel overcome with fatigue. When you feel drowsy, keep in mind that you are sharing the road and can lean on a friend or transportation services the same way you would if you had too much to drink.