What if you could prevent 40,000 accidents (in the US alone). What if it cost you nothing. What if doing so was actual kind of pleasant? Sound like a dream come true? Well that makes sense – because you (and we…and everyone else) can – through better sleep.
It’s estimated that there are over 40,000 accidents every year on American roadways that are the result of tiredness and insufficient sleep. That makes sense – from the trucker trying to make his delivery, to the dad picking kids up from karate class after a long day of work, to hours upon hours stuck commenting each week, we’re all very frequently tired behind the wheel.
But how does being tired ACTUALLY impact our driving ability. Reaction time, vision and overall judgment are all effected. It is considered to be as dangerous as driving drunk.
There are a couple thing you can do. First get better sleep. Stop and have a nap if you feel yourself slipping. Do a yoga breathing exercise called Kapalabhati pranayama: Kapalabhati is is great for waking up your head. To begin, start with a deep inhale and forcefully exhale — drawing all the air out of your belly. After your next full inhale, begin to exhale forcefully out through your nose 15 to 30 times quickly without taking an inhale; actively draw your belly in with each percussive exhale(don’t do this if you have a cold). After you’ve completed a full cycle of 15 to 30 quick exhales, passively inhale and exhale for a few breaths and enjoy before another round. I will do three or four rounds of kapalabhati to make sure my brain and eyes are ready and awake! You can just rest your eyes for 5 minutes. Stop the car throw on your Nite Hood and give your eyes break.
If you are using coffee, remember that it is a diuretic and will leave you dehydrated if you are not careful. Dehydration will leave you drowsy and coffee cannot be relied on in this case. Be well rested, hydrated and breath deeply to keep your brain oxygenated.