7 Tips to Stay Alert While Driving

stay awake drivingDo you have trouble maintaining energy throughout the day?  Driving tired can be very dangerous to you and those around you.  Here are 7 tips to boost your energy and stay alert when driving:

  • Get plenty of sleep the night before you drive. The National Sleep Foundation recommends somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep depending on your age. And if you don’t get enough sleep the night before…
  • Take a nap.  For most people, a 10-20 minute nap is the most effective in boosting energy.  And remember, if you still feel groggy after you wake up, don’t go back to sleep! It is natural to feel groggy for 15 minutes after a nap, but that will soon go away and you’ll feel your energy level rise.
  • Take a walk before the day starts.  While you may think exercise will make you more exhausted, studies show it does the opposite-increasing physical activity increases energy! A short 5-10 minute walk can boost your energy before you start your drive for the day. And of course doing more than just a walk is even more beneficial!
  • Turn the temperature down.  Keeping your cab warm will contribute to your drowsiness. If you keep your cab cooler you will feel more awake and focused.
  • Caffeine.  Caffeine can be a great tool to boost your energy but be careful: what goes up must come down.  Caffeine is a quick fix and doesn’t provide sustained energy.  A caffeine overload will eventually cause you to crash, and can leave you more tired than before.  To optimize your energy, try frequent mini-servings of coffee or tea so the energy lasts longer. Caffeine can also dehydrate you though… which causes even more fatigue, so….
  • Stay hydrated! Staying hydrated is not only essential for overall health, but it also contributes to your energy levels.  Make sure when drinking caffeine or eating salty foods to counter act the dehydration with plenty of water!
  • Finally, eat energy-boosting foods! Avoid sugar and other junk foods.  The key to boosting your energy naturally with food is a combination of fiber, complex-carbs, protein, and (a little) fat. 

Here is a list of energy-boosting foods! Many of these foods increase energy through different ways, so maximize your energy by combining different items on this list!

  • Nuts (Almonds, pistachios, hazlenuts, cashews, peanut butter)
  • Seeds (like pumpkin seeds & chia seeds)
  • Trail mix
  • Popcorn
  • Salmon
  • Bananas
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Oatmeal
  • Hummus
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Lean meats
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Quinoa