Long distance driving, how do you stay awake?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by garybUK, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    Hey all,

    Does anyone have any tips on good ways to entertain myself/keep awake on a long distance drive back to my hometown?

    I'm looking for good types of music, podcasts, audiobooks etc, also if anybody has any good suggestions on how to stay awake that would be good.

    I'm driving about 1180km or 720miles with a hour stop over on the ferry at Calais, I am driving back Thursday after work and return on Sunday, (from Heidelberg, Germany to Manchester).

    It's great my trip is also co-insiding with my new iPhone 4GS 64gb being delivered to my parents address on the Friday :D


  2. mrkramer macrumors 603


    Jul 11, 2006
    I'm assuming you don't have any friends who can go with you? That's how I usually stay awake.
  3. lewis82 macrumors 68000


    Aug 26, 2009
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    Take frequent breaks and walk around a little bit every time. It really helps. Also, if you ever start expriencing microsleeps, stop immediately and take a nap.
  4. garybUK thread starter Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    Nope unfortunately not.


    Apart from making me need the toilet it has no affect on me keeping awake :( although redbull etc is a idea.
  5. woolyback macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
  6. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Sounds like you should be taking a train or a plane. Driving that distance is crazy, especially with a return journey so soon afterwards.
  7. Moyank24 macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2009
    in a New York State of mind
    2 things that help me during long distance driving:

    Monster (or Rockstar) + Punk Music playlist.
  8. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    I do the same distance to the South of France about 6 times a year. I tend to have music which i know the lyrics to and sing (out loud not in head) and, for me, this keeps me concentrating. Also the aires in France are great - especially if it's cold to act as a refresher - and I tend to stop every 2/3 hours
  9. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I'm fortunate to be driving a F430-F1a. The decibel level of the music emitted out of it's exhaust, intake roar, valve train clatter, and road noise from the ultra wide tires is enough to keep anyone awake... Heh!

    90% of the interior is uninsulated carbon fiber with the only creature comforts being the thinly padded carbon fiber seats. I ordered it this way because I'm an ex-racer that doesn't want a full interior.

    My preferred pace is in the triple digits, thus between my constant vigilance watching through the tiny mirrors & listening for the Valentine One alerts, there's no time to become drowsy :)
  10. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    5 Hour Energy (I'm not sure if they sell this or an equivalent in Europe), food, water and breaks to stand up. This past July I drove roughly 900 miles in one shot. Took about 16 hours with rest stops, left at 8am got in at midnight. I've done these kinds of trips relatively regularly and I have my system down pretty well.

    I make sure to have a cooler of real food (as opposed to greasy, fast food, 'road food') and plenty of water. I really like to split up my stops: I'll stop to eat like an hour before I need gas, so if I get drowsy from the food I have to stop for gas anyway. Usually I try to map out a small town with a nice looking park that's actually off the highway to stop and eat—that way I can stretch out, and breathe a little, then get back on the highway for an hour or so before a very quick stop to get gas.

    As for entertainment—usually I stock up on a couple of new albums as I have plenty of time to listen to them all the way through a couple of times, but the real key if you feel yourself getting really groggy: a sing-along playlist. 20 songs you can turn up really ********** loud and sing/yell along with. Always works for me. ;)
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I went off the road once back in 1995. Didn't hit anything, fortunately. Since then, I don't drive when I'm sleepy - there's no place I need to be that badly.
  12. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    idk what your music taste is but songs like bad touch, blood hound gang are good in combination with monsters,coffee.

    Oh and if you can make your own sandwiches, homemade tends to be the best.
  13. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    this definitely should be noted. Know your limits and know when you need to stop driving. for your safety and that of the other drivers around you.

    some people can go longer than others, you just have to know what works for you.
  14. spblat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    Sunflower seeds. Learn to eat up to 10 at a time.

    And use rest stops. Take a nap now and then so you don't die or kill someone.
  15. garybUK thread starter Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    Thats a good idea, i can make some sandwiches, my car has a cooled compartment in the arm rest. can take some snacks too.

    Bloodhound gang, not heard them in a while!

    This is the journey im going to be taking: http://www.google.co.uk/maps?saddr=Walldorf,+Baden-Wurttemberg,+Germany&daddr=53.00838,-2.23206+to:Manchester&hl=en&ll=49.037868,6.591797&spn=8.847125,18.588867&sll=51.151786,2.614746&sspn=8.466612,18.588867&geocode=FW5O8AIdxeCDACmBHsyVs76XRzGAUgmNPP0fBA%3BFfzXKAMdBPHd_ymHqWta4Wd6SDFxPwfXnvkMEw%3BFQgNMAMd-Ofd_ynb9SZSTE16SDGqa_4EOBS-2Q&vpsrc=6&mra=dvme&mrsp=1&sz=6&via=1&t=m&z=6
  16. Ounce macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    The biggest obstacle is eating meals. About 20 minutes after you eat you'll become really drowsy. Some things that help me are changing music, sipping on water, and snacking throughout the day.

    The best advice I can give is allow yourself plenty of time. When you're driving under stress little inconveniences like traffic can become unduly problematic.
  17. JustLeft macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2007
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    For me on long distance drives what I would do is listen to some podcast or music from my ipod. That or I had NPR playing on the radio.
    Also every few hours I would get out and stretch my legs. Worked out for me that I would stretch my legs and take a bathroom break about every 1/2 tank of gas.
    Also just would have thing to drink in the car (water, coke, coffee, etc.).
  19. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    You could use http://www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de/. Also, is none of your friends interested in a short trip to Manchester?
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Long distance driving, how do you stay awake?

    Somewhat extreme, but you could take a wife, and get her to be your nagivator.

    Providing you can resist the urge to kill yourself during the journey. :p
  21. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    If you feel sleepy then get off the road ASAP and take a 20 minute nap (set you watch/phone to wake you up). I find that this gives me another couple of hours of awake-ness.

    I think vitamin D pills keep me alert. I have 5000IU before i set off.

    Keep well hydrated and don't eat too much high-carb stuff. Might be best not to pack your own sandwiches - since getting hungry is a good excuse to stop and have a walk around.

    I always make sure I have a load of podcasts to listen to - I think it keeps me more alert than music.

    This is a bit controversial... but I always use earphones on long journeys now. My car is pretty small and not that quiet - I think road noise is more wearing than you'd realise. Earphones cut down road noise and keep me more alert.
  22. Firestar macrumors 68020


    Sep 30, 2010
    221B Baker Street.
    To accomodate both packing your lunch and having to walk around, I would suggest you pack your food in a place where it requires you to make a stop and get out.
  23. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    Coffee/Red Bull (moderate amounts)
    Snacks (somehow, having something to chew, makes your brain stay awake more easily)
    Frequent 5 minutes stops every 1h30 or 2 hours.

    Remember, it's better to lose a ferry than a leg, so if you're tired, stop, sleep for an hour or so, and then keep driving. Just in case I have to stop, I always have a polar fleece blanket and a pillow in the trunk. Some services stations have showers for truckies, you can ask to use them.

    I often drive long distances, and I prefer to drive by night, but to each his own.

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