(i) Having a break from driving every two hours will make you more awake.
This may improve your alertness temporarily, but it won't keep you awake. You need to have a Power Nap during your breaks for 15-20 minutes to feel more awake.
(ii) I know exactly when I am going to fall asleep.
Sleep is an involuntary action. No one can accurately determine the exact moment that they are going to fall asleep. Despite this fact, people mistakenly believe that when they drive and they are feeling drowsy they can stay awake through determination. A "micro-sleep" will overcome the best intentions to remain awake
(iii) Training, occupation, education, skill level, motivation, determination will keep me awake whilst driving
Sleep is an involuntary action, a biological need and everyone sleeps.
(iv) I am a safe driver so it does not matter if I am sleepy.
The only safe driver is an awake driver. Even the safest drivers become confused, misjudge their surroundings or don't process information as quickly as usual and so have slower reaction times when they're drowsy. The risks will be greater. and they use poor judgement when they are sleepy.
(v) I get plenty of sleep.
Chances are that you are not getting all the sleep that you need. If you go to bed late and wake up early to an alarm clock, you probably are building up sleep debt during the week.
(vi)Drinking coffee overcomes the effects of drowsiness.
Two strong cups of coffee can help you feel more alert but the effects last only a short time. Moreover, coffee takes between 15-30 minutes to have any impact, the quality of coffee varies (as does the amount of caffeine), and if you are seriously sleep- deprived you are still likely to have "micro-sleeps". Note: coffee may have no effect whatsoever on some people (e.g. a regular coffee drinker). Coffee will also slow down your reaction time when driving.
(vii)Turning up the radio is an effective way to stay awake while driving.
This is not effective for a person who is driving whilst feeling drowsy.
(viii) Opening the window is an effective way to stay awake while driving.
Fresh air may make you more alert for a few minutes but only sleep will solve your drowsiness.
(ix) Turning on the air-conditioner is an effective way to stay awake whilst driving.
This is not effective to the person who is driving while feeling drowsy.
(x) Young people need less sleep.
Teenagers and young people need more sleep than people in their thirties. They often get less because they enjoy staying up late and they have a wide range of responsibilities. You may enjoy driving when you would normally be asleep, but you need to be particularly careful to avoid driving while drowsy.
(xi) The older you get the fewer hours of sleep you need.
Older people may wake more frequently during the night and may actually get less night-time sleep, but their sleep need is no less than for younger adults. The amount of sleep we need does not decrease with age but the ability to sleep does. Because they sleep less during the night, older people tend to sleep more during the day.
As people get older, stress increases to the body. Digestion becomes less efficient, hormones become less efficient, circulation does not work as well as in youth, organs are more stressed etc. This increasing stress makes rest and recuperation as important as in youth. Therefore, elderly people need plenty of sleep.
(xii) Daytime sleepiness always means that a person is not getting enough sleep.
Excessive daytime sleepiness is a condition where an individual feels very drowsy during the day and has an urge to fall asleep when they should be fully alert and awake. The condition, which can occur even after getting enough night-time sleep, can be a sign of an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder.
(xiii) I can't take naps.
Some people say they can't nap. But even people who say they are not tired will fall asleep when they have not been getting enough sleep. You may be surprised how quickly you fall asleep once you give yourself the chance!
(xiv) I would never fall asleep while driving.
If you can fall asleep in bed or while reading a book, you can fall asleep in a vehicle 'in the blink of an eye'.
(xv) Talking to the driver will ensure they stay awake.
The driver can be having a "micro-sleep" whilst driving but the passenger may be unaware of it.
(xvi) Drowsy driving crashes only happen to old people.
Young people account for the highest percentage of drowsy driving crashes.
"Stop Sleep Survive"