Drowsy driving is a major problem on America’s roads, with as many as a third of all Americans reporting that they are sleep deprived and not getting sufficient rest. A driver who is dozing off could cause a head-on collision or other accident and is a menace to himself and others on the roads.
Our personal injury lawyers encourage you to resolve to get a better night’s rest in 2014. Many people depend upon sleeping pills to try to get the rest they need. Unfortunately, new studies indicate that those who take sleeping pills fall asleep just 20 minutes prior to those who do not use these sleep aids. Sleeping pills could also increase the risk of a crash if you are still groggy from the pills on your morning commute. Because of the risks associated with sleeping pills, it may be better to explore other alternatives for making sure you get enough rest so you can stay awake and alert when driving.
Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Rest
The Fiscal Times recently provided some tips that you can use to pay down your sleep debt in a smart way and become better rested without the use of medication. Tips to try include the following:
- Stay away from caffeine for several hours prior to bedtime. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and soda can affect your sleep patterns if the drink is consumed within six hours of going to bed. Drink your caffeine in the morning and stop by mid afternoon in order to get the best sleep possible.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can sometimes help you to fall asleep faster, but it is not likely to allow you to get a good nights rest. Unfortunately, as the sugars in alcohol metabolize as you are sleeping, you are likely to wake up several times throughout the night.
- Skip spicy foods. Consuming foods with too much kick before you go to bed can also keep you awake.
- Keep electronics out of the bedroom and off at night time. When your brain is exposed to a bright light, such as the white screen on a phone or tablet, this can signal your brain that it is daytime and time to be awake. As a result, using electronics before bed is going to make it a lot harder for you to fall asleep and get a good rest since your brain and body will be confused by the bright light at nighttime.
- Exercise early in the day. Vigorous exercise lets the brain and body know that it has worked hard and that it deserves a rest. However, exercise too close to bedtime can get your body keyed up and can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Exercise in the morning or afternoon, not in the evening when you are winding down for the day.
- Don’t vary your sleep routine. If you are overtired, it can be really tempting to sleep in late over the weekends. However, you should avoid variation in the time when you go to bed and when you get up so your body can get used to a sleep pattern. This doesn’t mean you cannot catch up on sleep during the weekend. However, the smart way to do this is by taking short naps on your days off.
By following these tips, hopefully you can become better rested and you will not be at risk of causing a drowsy driving collision.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 888-367-2900.
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New Booster Seat Recommendations from the IIHS Impact Massachusetts Parents, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, November 20, 2013