2

votes

Driving for days - how to remain alert

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 03, 2012 at 2:07 AM

I have to drive across the US soon which will take several days. Most of it through states completely devoid of signs of life or vegetation and thus very boring. I tend to get bored on long drives which can make me feel tired.

Any ideas for how I can stay alert, perhaps something I should snack on?

Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on December 25, 2012
at 11:52 PM

does a human sitting shotgun and talking your ear off count as a negative ion generator?

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 03, 2012
at 08:54 PM

Nemesis- Get the Starbucks Via packets. Less time/effort/mess. (Not ideal of course, but it works. Not terrible instant coffee either.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:51 PM

audio books are great (audible.com is awesome), podcasts are fun and free. almonds are my go-to road snack. sometimes I'll get the sliced ones and toast em so they're like tiny little chips.

5514047f3281f61b1139fe6483ae6989

(315)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Amphetamines, like our ancestors used to use.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:48 PM

@Warren between elk osso bucco and Montana grass fed beef it was a tough choice. Thinking about it kept me awake for the last 200 miles from Bozeman.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:43 PM

I'm also planning on bringing my espresso machine with me. I figure I can stop at a rest station and plug it in to brew a shot if I need it!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:41 PM

I'm driving from FL to OH in September, my first long-distance drive. I'd also like to hear tips from others. I figure I'll stop at a trucker station for a couple hours of zzz's if I need to, rather than blow $100+ on a hotel room.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 03, 2012
at 04:47 PM

I prefer the orange-flavored 5 hour energy shot. It works and doesn't cause me to crash later.

D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

(1453)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Devoid of signs of life or vegetation -- where are you driving, the moon? Death Valley? And yes, I live in the Midwest and know the highway landscape isn't always that gripping, but really that seems an unwarranted slam of a large swath of the United States. Maybe learning to appreciate all the life and beauty in every ecosystem would be a good Paleo project (I also recommend books on CD).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:25 PM

That's a long way to go just for a good filet.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Don't drive at constant speed. Spice it up a bit :D

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on June 03, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I live pretty far from everything and have to drive a lot. I also like to take off on multi-state trips with the boys and have spent many an all-nighter listening to audio books and downloaded podcasts. US Wellness Meats jerky looks good but I haven't tried it because I make my own. http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Detail.bok?no=845

Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5

(346)

on June 03, 2012
at 04:18 AM

Like others have said, music! Temperature is a big thing for me too. If it's too warm, I feel sleepy. Nuts are awesome. Basically just eating small things frequently for something to do if nothing else.

07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

(3162)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:30 AM

I completely agree. Listening to music makes me sleepy when I'm driving for long periods. Listening to a human voice telling you something keeps you more alert.

74113a5a2181f559e2251d32cb2e460a

(10)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Audio books are a good idea. I usually never eat while driving either but I was wondering if there's any paleo-friendly foods that could help keep me alert (as opposed to what people traditionally use that could cause a crash like energy drinks). Where do you get paleo-friendly jerky? All the jerky I've seen in stores has sugar added - after all, can't let anybody eat a single food item without dosing them with sugar to make sure they remain addicted (usually dextrose or corn syrup or one of the thousands of names for sugar).

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10 Answers

3
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:34 AM

24 ounce monster low carb with the handy resealable top so you can sip it now and then.

The health effects of crashing your car are far worse than the effects of an energy drink. Resume clean living on arrival.

If you do audiobooks go unabridged. They massacre the abridged versions.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 03, 2012
at 04:47 PM

I prefer the orange-flavored 5 hour energy shot. It works and doesn't cause me to crash later.

3
5cd8441bd01fc10816085bfc092477c4

(925)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Get some audio books that you can listen to while you drive. As far as snacks go, light stuff would be best, I would think. Fruits and nuts. maybe some jerky? I don't really snack at all, so this is hard for me to answer, but I am very good at entertaining myself on long drives and I really like audio books.

74113a5a2181f559e2251d32cb2e460a

(10)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Audio books are a good idea. I usually never eat while driving either but I was wondering if there's any paleo-friendly foods that could help keep me alert (as opposed to what people traditionally use that could cause a crash like energy drinks). Where do you get paleo-friendly jerky? All the jerky I've seen in stores has sugar added - after all, can't let anybody eat a single food item without dosing them with sugar to make sure they remain addicted (usually dextrose or corn syrup or one of the thousands of names for sugar).

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on June 03, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I live pretty far from everything and have to drive a lot. I also like to take off on multi-state trips with the boys and have spent many an all-nighter listening to audio books and downloaded podcasts. US Wellness Meats jerky looks good but I haven't tried it because I make my own. http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Detail.bok?no=845

07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

(3162)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:30 AM

I completely agree. Listening to music makes me sleepy when I'm driving for long periods. Listening to a human voice telling you something keeps you more alert.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:51 PM

audio books are great (audible.com is awesome), podcasts are fun and free. almonds are my go-to road snack. sometimes I'll get the sliced ones and toast em so they're like tiny little chips.

1
583159c8df4177d0761206b06c25b1bf

on December 25, 2012
at 06:07 PM

I use three things: 1) Exercise. I stop for 10 minutes at least every 2 hours (old "ten for two" rule). At the stop I do mobility work, plus a light set of something, usually push-ups or squats). 2) Audio. Something engaging, but preferably fiction or historical fiction. Need some element of suspense. Sometimes I'll bring "homework" reading but it's not productive because I prefer to take notes, so I'd have to re-read. 3) Snack. Stay light and small, balanced and healthy. Portion out the amount that is available in the driver station, so you don't eat it all too quickly. Put the rest in the back so you have to resupply during your exercise breaks.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 03, 2012
at 06:36 PM

If you can find a doctor to hook you up with some Provigil, it is hands down the best cognitive performance enhancer on the market. Astronauts, fighter pilots, and olympic track athletes all use the stuff to improve mental focus.

That and Spotify Premium for your iPhone which you can plug into a doc in your car.

0
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:55 PM

In my experienced-based opinion, the absolute best thing you can do to combat driving fatigue is use a negative ion generator.

Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on December 25, 2012
at 11:52 PM

does a human sitting shotgun and talking your ear off count as a negative ion generator?

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 01:13 PM

I just finished a 2500 mile stint over 4 days. Rest, lots of coffee and planning an interesting route (I use TripAdvisor) helped with the boredom. I drove 1000 miles on Tuesday to get to a restaurant in Missoula for a good filet, arriving an hour before closing.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:48 PM

@Warren between elk osso bucco and Montana grass fed beef it was a tough choice. Thinking about it kept me awake for the last 200 miles from Bozeman.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 03, 2012
at 03:25 PM

That's a long way to go just for a good filet.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 03, 2012
at 10:08 AM

Stay hungry.

I hate driving long distances. I live on a small island now so that's no longer a problem. If I was doing that journey, I would probably just eat a little salted lard now and again.

0
1f91fa5584b27c2c7fc0cf1f97a386c5

on June 03, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Honestly, I would shoot for a ketogenic, higher fat diet. You won't have as hard a time waking up, the higher cortisol levels upon waking (due to low blood sugar) keep you alert. If you can stick to unsweetened, caffeinated black teas, they make an excellent method of staying awake while being cheaper and healthier than energy drinks. You'll just need to get a geek leak bottle set up...

0
76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

on June 03, 2012
at 02:48 AM

If you can DL some POD casts, Rob and Mark both have them I believe...keep you in the right frame of mind while driving...hell call into the show and see if they advise you of anything else while you're mobile :-p

Truth.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:22 AM

Music! I find that rockin' good road tunes make the difference.

Also planning fairly frequent stops along the way makes things more doable.

Dark Chocolate and cheese work for me as road food.

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