While millions of Americans will cruise the skies this summer en route to their vacation destinations, millions more will trade crowded airports for the wide-open road. Though sleep is usually the last thing on your mind as you gear up for an epic summer road trip, a little preparation could mean the difference between enjoying much-needed time away and wanting to go home and crawl back into your bed by day two. So, when you’re packing your summer road trip essentials, don’t forget to take these sleep tips along:
Pack the Comforts of Home
Getting a good night’s sleep in a car, RV, or hotel room while you’re away isn’t always easy – especially on the first night. One thing that can make drifting off to dreamland smoother is bringing some comforts from your sleep space. The familiarity of your favorite blanket, pillow and eye mask can help you feel more at home, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep– even if you are just trying to catch a few zzz’s at a rest stop in between destinations.
Pay Attention to How Tired You Are
When you’re excited about your destination, it is easy to try and stave off sleep for a few extra miles to get closer to the fun. However, driving drowsy can have serious consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is estimated that around 100,000 crashes reported to police each year involve a drowsy driver. And, if you thought that number was alarming, it is estimated that the actual number is much, much higher since, in a lot of cases, it can be difficult to tell if the driver was showing signs of exhaustion when the crash occurred.
There are some things you can look out for to gauge how tired you are, so you know when to pull over for a break. If your eyes are starting to feel heavy, you’re yawning excessively, missing your turn or exit, or drifting from your lane, it is time to pull over to catch up on some shut-eye or switch drivers.
Your car can’t run on fumes and neither can you. When it is time to fuel up (we mean you, not your car), make sure you are picking healthy snacks that will provide you with enough energy to stay alert throughout your drive. Instead of binging on junk food like chips and candy, try some almonds or a protein bar to keep your energy levels up. Also, be sure to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water can give you a boost and help prevent fatigue.
While new sights and sounds on the road may keep you entertained for some of the time, expect to get a little bored or antsy while driving. When you’re feeling down, it is much easier to succumb to driver fatigue. Make sure your vehicle is stocked and ready to keep the drive as entertaining and upbeat as possible. A killer playlist or a captivating audiobook are great items to bring along to pass the time, but don’t forget to keep your backseat passengers entertained as well. Puzzles, games, and fully charged mobile devices are some other ideal time-killing diversions.
Stick to Your Sleep Schedule on the Road
Whether you’re road tripping across the state, region, or country, getting enough sleep is key to preventing incidents caused by drowsy driving and for keeping your mood and energy levels up to enjoy the trip. While the excitement of vacation may have you wanting to cut your sleep short to get an earlier start on the road, it will be hard to fight off the sleepiness that is likely to follow. Instead, work your road trip around your sleep schedule and make the time for a full night’s sleep every night. The freedom to be on your own time is one of the biggest benefits of driving over flying.
If you’re finding it difficult to sleep in an unfamiliar environment or an uncomfortable hotel room, REMfresh® may be able to help. The Advanced Ion-Powered™ formulation continuously delivers 99% pure melatonin for up to 7 hours, helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.
When you’re running on poor sleep, the quality of your whole trip could be impacted. It is hard to enjoy the best the country has to offer when you’re fighting off yawns and struggling to stay awake. Make the most of your summer road trip by putting your sleep needs first so you can take advantage of every moment of your vacation.