Hi all! I know some of you are traveling for the holiday this weekend, Memorial day. Others might be traveling this summer, some might not be going anywhere at all. However, I'd like to mention some of the things that help me keep my eyes open and on the road when I'm exhausted.
My work schedule is constantly changing. One day I can work 8am-8pm, the next I work 8pm-8am. Literally. I've gotten used to my constantly changing schedule. I can flip my sleep schedule on the drop of a dime, but sometimes I have trouble. I'll go 24-48 hours with no sleep some days, between work and school, sleep is no longer a necessity haha. 4 hours of sleep a night is a good night's rest for me. Lately it's been getting better.
However, I'm always driving. Some of my patients are an hour's drive away, and I have to get home safely, or to my next patient. These are the things I've found to be helpful in staying alert on the road.
Keeping the window open - or the AC on
If it's chilly enough, I keep my windows open. The harsh breeze from the freeway speeds whipping in my face are plenty enough to keep me up, especially if it's cold outside. If it's warm or I'm not going fast, I throw my AC on full blast. Definitely not comfortable, and I definitely don't sleep when I'm not comfortable.
A con to this, things can blow in your eyes with the window's open. I've had it happen. Not easy to drive when you've got some foreign object in your eye.
Make driving a game
I check out other drivers. I also yell at other drivers through my open or closed windows. But I check the cars around me constantly. Is that one swerving, what's that one doing? I wonder where they're going? Who's driving further, me or them?
Or play games like the alphabet sign game. find road signs with every letter of the alphabet on them. License plates. Slugbug, yellow car, etc. Encourage passengers not to slug you too hard when they see a slugbug.
Cons? Be careful, slugbug can be dangerous when the driver is being hit xD
Obviously, energy drinks, or caffeine!!!
My personal favorite is iced coffee. However, I am known to drink monster, redbull, venom, etc other energy drinks occasionally when I've been up for WAY too long.
Cons - BE CAREFUL of caffeine crashes. They are real. I've had to pull over and sleep because I couldn't drive safely anymore. Watch your caffeine intake, drink it slowly. Like with alcohol or smoking weed, the faster you drink it, the faster you get your high, the faster you crash.
The best tip? Get some sleep if you're sleep deprived. Take breaks when you drive, stretch your legs.
I've slept over my shift at a patients house once or twice. I wasn't safe to drive, my relief arrived, and they told me to go ahead and rest up some.
If you can, pull over in a safe spot and get some rest. Don't cause an accident. Stretch your legs if you need to. Don't get road hypnotized.
Drive safe and enjoy the summer holidays!!