How To Stay Awake While Driving | Redbull vs Peril | 11 Tips

how to stay awake while driving

Some tips for how to stay awake while driving

How to stay awake while driving? If you’re wondering about this, you may also be wondering if being well rested before driving is just better. Well of course, but the reality is that it just doesn’t happen all the time. Humans get tired and drive.

If you’re tired, you should not drive. Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. In fact, it’s just as bad – if not worse – than driving drunk or intoxicated, the effects being:

  •  Impaired attention and coordination
  • Slower reaction time
  • Poor judgment
  • Going 24 without sleep is comparable to having a blood-alcohol content of 0.10%

In a perfect world, everyone would simply be well rested all the time. Or, park and have nap as soon as they felt tired. However, since we’re in the real worldOpens in a new tab., people may not always have those options.

So, here are a few tips for keeping alert if you’re feeling less than ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ while driving.

If you feel like you’re drowsy all the time, maybe it’s a good time to get a sleep test to check on your quality of sleep. This may be especially important if you sleep alone and have no one to tell you about your snoring patterns.

How To Stay Awake While Driving

1. Be Mindful Of What You’re Snacking On

how to stay awake while driving

Eat sunflower seeds or almonds slowly. Healthy snacks are better for sustaining balanced energy and avoiding sugar crashes. Avoid chips and fast food (full of fat, sugar, salt, and all that other good stuff) and opt for fruits or nuts for your snack.

Eat or chew some ice cubes, or chew gum. Opt for sugar-free gum to avoid sugar crashes.

Make sure you are well hydrated. Use caffeine as an option if you feel you need it. Caffeinated drinks can help make you feel more alert for a few hours, but the drowsiness may return after that.

Try an apple or a fruity, low-sugar drink.

2. How To Stay Awake While Driving – Get Some Fresh Air

get fresh air to stay awake while driving

Open the window and get some fresh air/cool air – Avoid having the vehicle interior warm, and do not use seat warmers.

3. Talk To Your Passenger or let your passenger drive

talk to your passenger to stay alert when driving a vehicle

Start an in-depth conversation with a passenger if you have one. What is the meaning of life? If you could be a rock or a tree in your next lifetime, what would it be and why? Why do humans walk on two legs but a lot of animals walk on 4 legs?

Perhaps your passenger can drive and you can take turns having naps.

4. How To Stay Awake While Driving – Use Music

listen to music to stay awake while driving

Sing along to the radio/music.

Listen to music – perhaps faster music is better, listen to music that you don’t like – that will be sure to keep you awake.

5. How To Stay Awake While Driving: Wash Your Face

wash your face to wake up

Wipe your face with a wet cloth, or better yet just dump a whole pile of water or ice over your head. That might help to keep you awake while you’re behind the wheel. And it’s much better than falling asleep while driving.

6. Take a Short Nap

take a nap to avoid driving tired

There’s no shame in having a nap, and naps aren’t just for kids. Just make sure you’re pulled over at a safe place and lock your doors. Even 10-15 minutes can help. Set your phone alarm to wake you up.

Avoid naps longer than 30 minutes because after that, you may enter a deeper stage of sleep, and then it will be even harder to wake up out of that and feel alert.

7. Take Your Time

There is never a rush when you’re driving. Not when you’re late for work, or late for a job interview. Not when you’re late for an airplane or ferry. And not when you’re driving tired. Staying alive, and arriving alive, is much better than taking risks like speeding, especially if you’re driving tired. Take your time and focus on driving safely.

8. Watch what time you are driving

watch what time you are driving

Avoid driving at a time when you’d normally be asleep. For many people that would be maybe sometime around midnight till 6 am. It’s hard enough driving while tired, let alone driving at a time when sleep is simply irresistible, calling your name…

how to stay awake while driving

9. How To Stay Awake While Driving: Move Your Body

move your body to stay awake while driving

Get out of the car and run around it in circles, do some jumping jacks or push ups, anything to get your blood pumping. This will help wake you up.

10. Avoid Medications

avoid medications while driving

Avoid alcohol of course and any medication such as painkillers that might make you sleepy before driving.

11. Get A Hotel Room

get a hotel room if driving tired

Hotel roomsOpens in a new tab. are cheaper, safer, warmer, more comfortable, more relaxing, more restful, and less disruptive and rude than car crashes.


Of course it’s better just to not drive when you are feeling tired or groggy. But I understand that life happens, and there are times when people feel like they must drive when they are tired.

There are things you can do to wake yourself up a little bit to continue a safe journey. Just be careful about sugar or caffeine crashes, as those are real things that can suddenly leave you feeling much worse than you just were.

Use a combination of tactics to keep yourself alert and awake. There are many things you can do until you can get to a safe resting place.

Read more: How To Unlock The Steering Wheel Right Now


Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

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