Beating seasonal fatigue
Adapting to seasonal shifts and time changes is challenging—and feeling as though you’re not quite awake when you sit behind the wheel when the sun isn’t up is downright dangerous.
At Oregon Travel Experience, we have a few suggestions that may help reduce your tendency to drive while drowsy:
- If you commute using one of our major Interstates and notice that your mind is drifting or you are jolted to attention by a leaf that you thought was an animal or a person, pull into the next available rest area. Make a phone call from your car if need be, and let your employer know that you’ll be a few minutes late. Take a quick walk around the grounds and breathe deeply. Oxygen is important for proper brain function, attentive driving, and reflexes. A few minutes of fresh air could save your life!
- Make sure to get 8-hours worth of restorative sleep: If you’re staying up later because you got into a summer habit of going to bed when it was dark, it may be time to alter your bedtime. Getting up in the dark and heading to work in the dark can add to overall drowsiness and fatigue, all before you leave your own driveway.
- Overhaul your dinner habits: Reduce your consumption of alcoholic beverages, sugary snacks or desserts. Add leafy greens and complex carbohydrates to the menu. All of this will help support and regulate your natural circadian rhythm. Too much sugar, whether in alcohol or desserts, may contribute to blood sugar spikes and dips, which can affect the quality of sleep, as well as your ability to rise and shine.
- Allow adequate time to reach your destination: Rushing your commute because you left the house 15 minutes late will not necessarily make up lost time. Driving faster than the posted speed limit is not an effective time management tool. Studies have shown that those who pass other cars (who are adhering to speed regulations) will arrive just a few minutes earlier than the vehicles they overtook. Is it really worth three minutes to risk the lives of schoolchildren (or your own) by speeding on dark and stormy roads?
Fall is a beautiful time in Oregon, so slow down, plan ahead, and enjoy the beauty of our seven regions. Make sure to stop at one of our 29 rest areas to liven up and refresh the brain, sip a free coffee from volunteers, and find your way to new discoveries with our convenient Business Highway Signs and Travel Information Kiosks. Happy fall travels everyone!