The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert defines microsleep as follows, “Microsleep is a state of sleep where parts of your brain override your consciousness and you fall asleep for anything from a fraction of a second to 30 seconds. If you’re tired, bored, or even doing monotonous jobs, you are susceptible to microsleep”.
If you do not get enough sleep before you set out on a long-distance drive or just even driving to the office, or being stuck in traffic, you are susceptible to microsleep.
This, considering our traffic volumes and the lawlessness on the road, is extremely dangerous.
To prevent this or at least lower the possibilities of it happening to you, Herbert offers the following advice:
1. Experts often suggest that you develop a sleeping routine. Meaning – you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day and get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
2. Avoid heavy foods, alcohol, and coffee just before bedtime.
3. Be mindful of the warning signs of fatigue. Slow blinking, yawning, daydreaming, and body jerks, as your consciousness returns, are the body’s way of telling you to rest.
4. Stop in a safe place and take a power nap. Drink a cup of coffee and take a short walk.
5. Remember – on long trips – it is advised to stop every 200 kilometres or after two hours of driving.
The holiday season is upon us and the roads will be extremely busy and dangerous. You may well survive an accident but the person or people in the other vehicle, may not.
Rest before you drive.