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Does caffeine really help you stay awake when driving?

Drowsy driving can be hazardous for both drivers and other individuals on the road. Research says drowsy may even compare to driving while under the influence of alcohol. To evade drowsiness while driving, many individuals will drink coffee, or something with caffeine.

Does caffeine really help individuals stay awake when they are feeling tired behind the wheel?

Caffeine’s effects on driving

In fact, a New York Times article reports that caffeine does have the ability to keep drivers awake when they are drowsy. In a test where sleep-deprived individuals were given caffeine, a placebo or a nap, the ones who drank caffeine did the best in a subsequent driving test.

Other ways to stay awake on the road

If caffeine isn’t your thing, do not fret. There are other methods of staying awake when you are tired behind the wheel.

  • Power nap: The same study mentioned above reported that some people respond well to a 30-minute nap prior to driving. Having a cat-nap before you go can help you stay alert.
  • Stop and walk around: Sometimes the drowsiness hits all at once, and while you were fine when you started driving, you are now finding it hard to keep your eyes open. Stopping at a rest stop to get some fresh air and stretch your legs may remind your brain that it is not time to sleep.
  • Drive with a passenger: There is more than one benefit to driving with another person in the car. They can keep a conversation going to keep your mind active, and if you are getting too tired, you can switch places to get some rest.

While drowsy driving is hazardous, there are ways you can combat it. Drinking coffee before and/or during the drive is a good option. Remember, though, that the best solution to drowsy driving is getting a good night’s sleep.

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