With how fast paced our lives seem to be in this day and age, it can seem impossible to actually get caught up on sleep. Between work, family, friends and actually participating in any hobbies you may have, there never seem to be enough hours in the day. Add factors like stress or anxiety that keep you up at night into the mix, and you may be surprised that you get any sleep at all. When things like this start catching up to you, it can be hard to resist letting your eyes close for a few minutes and taking a short nap. Unfortunately, you aren’t always somewhere safe when you start to fall asleep from pure exhaustion. There’s a very real possibility that this happens when you are still behind the wheel, and we’ve all been there.
If you feel yourself starting to get drowsy while you’re driving, the best thing you can do is pull over in a safe location and take a nap. This definitely beats putting your and other drivers’ lives in danger. 328,000 accidents and 6,400 fatalities a year can be attributed to drowsy driving. It is important to do everything you can to get a healthy amount of sleep overnight, but if you don’t sleep well for any reason, making sure that you can either easily and comfortably stay awake or get a ride with someone else is a good idea. While things like coffee and energy drinks can help keep you awake and focused, it may not do the trick and can actually make you more tired when you have a “sugar crash”. Turning up the music or cold air can also help prevent you from falling asleep. However, we urge anyone not to drive drowsy in the first place. As the saying goes, you snooze, you lose.
If you aren’t sure that you can stay awake while driving, there are many better options. You may be able to ask a friend for a ride or call a rideshare to get you to your destination. You might even be able to catch a few minutes of sleep while you’re in the car if someone else is driving. Sleep deprivation is one of the most dangerous things that you can experience while you’re doing almost anything, and it is a very scary experience, so making sure you don’t experience it while driving is important.
If you were in a car accident because someone involved was too tired to be behind the wheel, give Wirth Chiropractic a call. We can’t change what happened, but we can have you feeling like yourself again quickly!