This evening I am driving from Izmir to Ankara.
It’s supposed to be a 7-8-hour drive. And after a full day of work I am very mindful of stopping for a nap if need be.
After about 2 hours of driving I stopped and napped.
One thing I learned from my Dad is as soon as you notice any symptoms of fatigue – yawning, rubbing your eyes, heavy eyelids – pull over straight away in a safe location.
Then turn the motor off, recline your seat back, close your eyes and relax.
The first 10 or 20 times you try it, you might be lying there for quite some time and not be able to nod off.
But eventually your body learns to turn off.
And you only need a minute or even a moment where you feel yourself lose consciousness.
Most people say a 20-minute nap.
But in short bursts, our brain is like a computer.
You know sometimes when you’ve had the computer on for quite a while and it feels sluggish.
Sometimes a quick reset clears all the cobwebs and programs start running efficiently again.
It’s the same with our brain and driving.
Sometimes just that feeling of falling into sleep does the trick.
The trap is continuing to lie there for longer because it’s so comfortable. If you do that, you end up feeling drowsy when you do sit up and continue on driving.
A moment to a minute to maybe 5-10 minutes is more than enough.
As soon as you realize you were asleep and your consciousness comes back, push your seat up, start the engine and continue driving.
I’ve got about an hour and a bit to go before Ankara.
It’s tempting in the last stretch like this to try to push through. Even if you notice any of those symptoms of fatigue, ‘it’s only a little further so no point stopping now’.
You should stop.
It will only take a few minutes then you can finish the trip fresh.
Of course, if I don’t feel any drowsiness I will just keep going.
This short nap – a power nap – is worth spending some time training your body to do.