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Sleep Deprived and Driving?
Caprice_WebMD_Staff posted:
Next week is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week so with everyone here dealing with sleep problems of one kind or another, have you ever felt impaired by sleep deprivation? Did you drive anyway or did you make other arrangements? If you've done it in the past, are you trying to make different choices now? How do you manage?

Fighting Fatigue and Sleepiness On the Road

Have you ever fallen asleep at the wheel?
ctravlngrl responded:
I have FMS & CFS so it is often I fight to keep from falling asleep behind the wheel. The way I battle it on the way home from work during rush hour... and yes it's real bad then, I will bring an apple to work just so I can eat it while driving home. This really works well for me. If I don't have an apple to eat, then I will use my bluetooth and call someone to talk to me to help keep me awake. This works for me. I never know when it will hit me, but when I get sleepy, it is very scary.
ShadowPhoenii responded:
If I get sleepy at all and I'm not too far from home, I'll grab some OJ or something to kick me up so I can get home, then I'll not drive for the rest of the night. With having MFS it makes it harder too, so on long distance trips if I feel tired, I'll pull the vehicle over and take a 1-2 hour nap, and keep that up as needed. I'd rather lose time, then cause an accident that could cause someone to lose their life.
Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to ctravlngrl's response:
It's good you've found a strategy that works for you, Corrine. I agree, it can get scary if we're not careful how we manage our fatigue. Good tip!
Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to ShadowPhoenii's response:
You're making such wise choices, ShadowPhoenii. I wish more people would make such a choice.
socalsuz responded:
I've never fallen asleep at the wheel but I have made some dangerous drowsy driving moves.

I once blew through a stop sign in a residential neighborhood when I was fighting to keep my eyes open. Another time I drove straight over a parking block in the grocery store parking lot. That cost me some $$$ as I popped one of my tires!

This was pre-kids. Now that I'm a mom, I simply will not get behind the wheel if I feel fuzzy or foggy. I've missed lots of playdates and mommy and me classes but I know it's the right thing to do!

EleanorAnne responded:
I have to admit I have dosed off for a split second, when driving back and forth to college. It shocks you back into reality and I pulled over after that.

A college friend fell asleep at the wheel and crashed her car into a watermelon stand. No one was seriously injured but she was taken to the hospital in a very small town.

Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to socalsuz's response:
I had some scary moments long ago too, Suz, and made the same decision. It's just not worth it and I consider myself impaired when it's that bad.

Good for you for making that decision.
Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to EleanorAnne's response:
It sounds like your friend was very lucky, Ellie, that neither she nor anyone else got seriously injured.

You're right about one time shocking you back into reality.
butterflygarden responded:
Just like the article says, I have a tougher time staying awake early in the morning than late at night.

I find the the best thing I can do is just stop, get out of the car and walk around a bit.

Naturally, I'll also drink my weight in caffeine!

Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to butterflygarden's response:
I've done the stopping and walking around a bit too, Butterfly, before getting back on the road. For me it's the best approach if I'm out there on the road at all.

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For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center