Drowsy driving is drunk driving. Why is this happening?
October 1, 2010 11:45 PM Subscribe
Why do I get sleepy when I drive even though I feel completely rested?
Once or twice a week, I make a routine drive to my boyfriend's place that is about an hour away, spend most of my day with him and then drive back home in the evening around 11pm. More often than not, I'll get drowsy a few miles into the trip (going and coming back, but mostly coming back) and am fighting it the whole way home. I don't even want to count how many times I've completely closed my eyes for a few seconds and then had to jerk the wheel straight or tap on the brakes.
A couple notes:
Even though I've had a day of fun, I don't feel overwhelmingly tired or exhausted when I get in the car. I don't start the drive tired.
I fall asleep easily when in cars (if the drive is more than 20 minutes long, driven by others), trains and airplanes.
The time of day doesn't seem to matter. Most recently, I had to make the drive home in the middle of the day and the drowsiness still hit me.
I'm in LA, driving about 70-80 mph steadily. (unless there's traffic which I can get very drowsy in.)
I may have had one drink (well cocktail or light beer) earlier in the day (at least 5 hours before I start my drive)
When I feel like I'm really losing the fight, I exit the freeway and feel better when I'm no longer travelling at freeway speeds, not necessarily coming to a complete stop. When I get back on, the drowsiness will hit me a few minutes in.
I've been trying to figure out through trial and error by adjusting one factor during my drives.. Its far from scientific but here are the things I've tried:
Windows cracked, no AC vs windows up, AC on (maybe the oxygen levels in the car drop or something?)
Music on loud vs Music on softly vs Music off (I listen to pop/hip hop music mostly. On one particular night, I turned my loud music off with a quarter of the way to go and almost instantly stopped feeling drowsy. I was never able to reproduce the effect again though)
What do you guys think is causing my sleepiness? Is it the vibrations of the car? Something else? I feel like if I understand what's happening on a biological level I can deal with it better.
Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions are welcome! I know caffeine is a solution, but I'm trying to avoid it.