Driving in Lagos can be very dynamic and is the true test of a real driver.
It requires you to stay fully alert and awake. For you to drive in Nigeria’s busiest city, you need to apply your full concentration, you actually can not afford to feel sleepy.
The stress many people go through on a daily basis can be extreme. This makes sleepiness a common experience for many. This also affects many who drive, the tug of sleep could easily pull their minds and bodies. When driving especially at night, it is a common thing to feel tired and sleepy, even if you are the best driver in town.
So, in this article, we would be discussing the best ways to avoid falling asleep when driving.
1. Take a nap
The best tip to avoid sleeping while driving in Lagos is for you to take a nap. If you are driving and you start feeling sleepy, just pull over to a safe nearest parking lot. Set your alarm for a 15 to 20-minute power nap so that you will not oversleep and wake up the following morning.
You can have a pre-drive nap if you are very tired. Taking a short nap before setting for the road can help make up for a short night’s sleep. According to Sleep Advisor, a power nap is very effective in refreshing your brain. It makes you feel more alert.
2. Always have chewing gum in your car
Chewing gum keeps your mouth busy as some jaw smacking and bubble blowing will keep your eyeballs at attention. Being occupied passively will help you focus and stay awake. Next time you visit a shop, pick up a couple of packs of chewing gum and you start to feel drowsy, chew some gum.
You can go for sugar-free gum, it is a lot healthier than sugar-containing gum. Try different brands and flavors for variety to keep your taste buds guessing.
3. Have a Cup of Coffee
When you are already sure you are driving at night, or you got a pick-me-up call when you are already tired. Just go for sure coffee, although it is not a replacement for a good sleep, it can keep you awake for some hours. Small amounts of coffee, like a cup, can help you stay focus while driving. It is the best pick-me-up drink.
However, if you are a coffee lover, ensure you do not take a drink more than four cups a day. If you are not a coffee lover, then you can replace it with a large cup of green tea. Green tea can also help you stay awake.
4. Turn your music volume up to 90 decibels
When you are feeling sleepy, make use of your car’s stereo system. It is known that over 55 decibels increase sleep disturbances and annoyance levels, so 90 decibels can prevent sleep. Check if your car’s radio measures decibels, then try to turn the music up to at least 90 decibels. A volume of that level can be so disruptive to keep your body to stay awake
If the car’s radio does not measure decibels, just try to estimate it. Increase the volume of the car’s radio until the noise is loud enough to keep you awake.
However, do not turn this into a habit, turn the volume up only for brief periods when you are tired. Habitually listening to music this loud can damage your hearing.
5. Wipe Your Face with A Wet Wipe
Always have a wipe / clean handkerchief and water in your car. Whenever you are feeling drowsy, just wet your handkerchief and wipe your face. Wiping your face with wet wipes can also keep you awake. It provides you refreshment that will help you awake while driving. It is the easiest and the most practical way to wash your face without having to wait too long.
6. Drive with someone
If it is possible, you can bring someone else along with you while driving. Having someone to gist and talk with while driving will help you not to even think of sleep. Also, having another person that can drive in the car can keep you alert, as the two of you can take turns driving. Whenever you feel very tired, have the other person drive for sometimes.
7. If you are on medication, read labels carefully
Taking some drugs can cause drowsiness. So, if you are on any medication, try to read the label carefully and ensure drowsiness is not a side effect. Taking a drug with drowsiness as a side effect is not be safe for driving. Have a talk with your doctor if you have a medication you need to take regularly that causes drowsiness. Your physician can give you more directives on how to avoid drowsiness while driving. He/she might even change your medication.
8. Do not drink alcohol
Avoid alcohol if want to drive and even while driving. A very small amount of alcohol will enhance drowsiness. Drinking alcohol while driving is very dangerous for both the driver and passengers.
9. Watch your meals
If you are hungry and you have to pull over and eat, watch the size of your meal. Heavy meals can make you feel more tired. Eat small portions or snacks like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Some meals will keep you more alert than big plates of food.
So while driving always buy fresh foods and avoid fast food. Limiting yourself by not taking chocolates and sweets might even helpful while driving as you would be avoiding consuming sugar in large amounts through processed food.
Too much sugar can make you feel tired and sleepy.
10. Sleep well at night
One problem that plagues a lot of people in the society today is lack of sleep. Even if you have a busy schedule, prioritise your sleep. You should actually be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you have problems falling asleep, you can try avoiding the use of your smartphone 30 minutes before bedtime, you can also try getting a weighted blanket, this helps to induce sleep, you can check out this best weighted blanket review.
Now that you have learned tips that can help you stay awake while driving on Lagos roads, I will like to hear from you. Do you have any tips that you use and works for you? Have you tried any of the above before, and what was your experience?
Kindly share your views by leaving a comment, I will be happy to read them.