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10 Long Drive Tips For Staying Awake

Many people think that they can stop themselves from going to sleep when they are driving drowsy, but this is not possible. You will never know when you’ve dozed off while you drive. Most likely you can fall asleep while driving if you’re sleep-deprived, don’t have enough rest, driving alone, travelling late, drinking alcohol, taking medicine that causes sleepiness, or driving long rural highways. 

So, what is the secret to driving lost distances without getting tired? In this article, we’re going to share some effective tips that can help you drive long distances. 

Signs of Sleepiness

Before we discuss the tips, it’s important that you are aware of the signs when you’re about to doze off:

  • You’re having difficulty remembering the last few miles you drove. 
  • You’re wandering and having disconnected thoughts. 
  • You can’t focus or keep your eyes open. 
  • You can’t keep your head up. 
  • Yawning repeatedly.
  • Drifting from your lane or hit a noisy trip.

Tips for Driving Lost Distances 

man driving car during rainy daytime

1. Keep your back straight

To keep your body alert, you should sit up straight and continually use your mirrors and road signs. You can try buying a lumbar support cushion that can help you sit straight and lessen back pain that is caused by prolonged hours in the car. 

2. You had enough rest for the long-distance drive the next day 

If you will have a long-distance drive for tomorrow and you know about it, give yourself plenty of rest in the nights leading up to it. Truck driver jobs, for instance, require drivers to prioritize a great sleep routine between driving sessions. Organize proper bedtimes and wake-up times and provide yourself adequate time to relax after a long day of driving. 

3. The vehicle should have a cool or stimulating environment

You may want to keep your car cool by letting the air enter inside, so roll down the windows or turn on the AC at a low setting. The slight cold can help your body stay awake and your mind more alert for the miles ahead. Meanwhile, if you’re driving in the summer months turn on your AC. If you don’t have AC, there are portable car ACs to consider placing inside your car. 

4. Caffeinated drinks can be handy sometimes

Although we don’t necessarily recommend this, drinking coffee or caffeinated tea can be pretty handy occasionally to fuel your journey. Just be careful not to drink the whole thing immediately because you might end up restless and desperately look for a restroom to use. 

5. Go for a break every 2 hours

The best way to stay awake while driving long distances is to give yourself frequent shortstops. Get of out the car for a while where there are some bright lights, chit chat with some people, and breathe some fresh air to refresh your brain and increase energy levels. 

6. Keep yourself entertained 

man driving a car wearing wrist watch

While driving, you can listen to some podcasts or audiobooks to keep yourself awake on a long-distance drive. Look for an interesting audiobook or podcast that will keep you engaged. Or play some of your favourite music that puts you in good mood. 

7. Do some stretches and light exercise 

Before you get out of your car to do this, make sure it’s a safe place to stop where you can get your blood moving. After you do find this place, get moving with some lunges, star jumps, or brief jogs. Driving a long distance can leave you dazed and stiff. So, it’s important to have your endorphins pumping for your brain to stay awake and remove your body from the driving position. 

8. Try not to drive between midnight and 6 am

It’s recommended that people try to avoid driving between midnight and 6 am as this is the time when our bodies are usually asleep. If it’s possible, it would be best to drive during the daylight hours and avoid driving more than 8 hours in a day. 

9. Don’t drink alcohol the day or night before the long drive 

Alcohol is very strong and it can stay in your system for hours or even for several days depending on how much you have had. Avoid making a big long drive more difficult by enduring a hangover and trying to lose sleep. 

10. Share the journey with a friend

If it’s possible, drive with a friend! It would be more fun if you share the journey with the company. This will help you stay awake and engage when someone is there you can talk to while driving a long distance. Plus, you can take turns in driving. If this is not possible, call someone via Bluetooth, of course, and talk to them while you’re driving. This will make the ride feel less lonely. 


The secret to driving long distances without feeling sleepy and getting tired is to get plenty of rest before the long drive, take short breaks every 2 hours, have some caffeine, or perform quick light exercises. And while you’re inside the car, keep yourself engaged by listening to a nice podcast or audiobook, and bring a friend along if possible. 

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