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Old 10th November 2011, 09:29   #46
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

When you are excited, nervous, anxious or otherwise agitated there is some adrenalin flow going on in your body that causes sleep to disappear. Only way is to calm down as far as possible and switch off your mind. These things are easier said than done.
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:11   #47
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

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Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
I don't allow it - it doesn't stir up anyways for the first 45 mins of driving which is the exit from the city. Besides better not allow it to stamp your foot on the accelerator pedal needlessly. Only when a good stretch of road presents itself, I let the mood take over - but its more like responding to my "protesting car" and allowing it to run free and let it loose for a while.



I too have been thinking about this - leave at 2030hrs and check-in somewhere 100kms away from the city by 1AM. But the disadvantage is the price of hotel room may cost one tankful of petrol.

--Ragul
The point is not to stop in between as you will definitely not feel sleepy within an hour of driving. Try to reach the destination in the morning and sleep at the destination.
Most of the hotels have a checkout time of 11 AM and one should be able to reach the destination around that time. So there would be no extra cost on expenses. Plus you will gain a whole day at destination and you can sleep for a couple of hours there and start the sight seeing process
That is what we normally do. And at the end of day, by 8 PM the following day, everyone is very exhausted and sleep will come naturally.
The other advantages being lots of time saved due to traffic at villages on the way and within the city.
Just enusre that one is accustomed to this.
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:39   #48
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

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Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Since we will be sleep deprived anyways in the morning, it is better to leave at night itself so that the time you are awake thinking of next days drive, you will actually be driving.
This is what I have started doing after a couple of failed attempts to sleep at night when there was a next days driving at 4 am.

note: this should be done only if one is sure that the road is safe during nights and one is experienced in night drives.
Its true that the multiple attempts fail to have proper sleep, but it is always more safer to drive in day time than night time, and night drives can be avoid as much as possible.

I also experienced that, in return journey to bangalore, the excitement on return drive reduces a bit so you are likely to sleep little better in previous night, than onward journey.

-Ravi
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Old 3rd February 2012, 00:23   #49
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

I go to bed an hour early (Lights off / No other disturbance) than my usual time the previous night. This way, the anxiety and the thinking that goes on in mind reduces as 1 hour passes and you start feeling sleepy as per your normal time and eventually fall asleep. Works for me
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Old 3rd February 2012, 01:25   #50
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

Happens to me too, find it tough to sleep before long drives, maybe because i living driving so much! I dnt even sleep before the start of any major vacation even if am not driving, just because am so excited. So i think it's more to do with our enthusiasm and interest levels etc. not just the long drives! I have a long list of events before which i cannot sleep - Imp office presentations that am particularly interested in, Long drives, Vacations, Interviews etc.
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Old 13th April 2012, 13:34   #51
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

It happens all the time for me. Even last week I slept hardly for 1 hr before my 10 hour drive.

Guys think again " You don't get sleep only on your forward journey or start of vacation, you would have slept peacefully before the return journey "

Happens to me all the time.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 21:39   #52
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

Came across this thread only now, but I have been facing this issue almost every time before a long drive. Sometimes I struggle to fall asleep, and sometimes I wake up very early around 2 AM. Unfortunately leaving very early is not an option for me because my kids wont wake up early.

Lack of sleep does not make me feel sleepy during the drive but I dont feel comfortable. One time somehow I had slept well in the night before the drive and I could feel the drive was far more relaxed.

Any solutions to this problem? Any good relaxation music that helps to fall asleep easily?
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Old 2nd December 2018, 22:06   #53
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

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Originally Posted by mohan41 View Post
Any solutions to this problem? Any good relaxation music that helps to fall asleep easily?
As mentioned by many of our fellow bhpians, this problem is indeed faced by almost all of us.

I too face this problem for years and that's why i started this thread topic. Though its not a straightforward answer/solution, one thing i keep trying is to make myself "really really" tired in the day time on previous day before journey. That forces me to get some deep sleep on prior night (how many hours i get it thought) before the long drive. Usually i try to leave in early mornings, so a reasonable 5 to 6 hours sleep helps. But i must admit, i have failed this in several times and ended up not sleeping properly before a long drive.

However, considering safety point of view, i would say i do take a power nap for 15 minutes whenever i feel sleepy behind the wheels, so will try to quickly find a safe parking spot or at restaurants when we break (usually post lunch). That works like magic to make me feel fresh and can continue driving for rest of the day even till midnight. Its a practice to try and keep attempting, but i can tell you it really works. Give it a shot, to see if it works for you too !

-Ravi

Last edited by ravib : 2nd December 2018 at 22:08.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 11:41   #54
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

Wow! What an amazing question!
I think this is common among we enthusiasts who literally "live /love to drive". I am never able to sleep before a long drive. Maybe it is because of excitement. Lately, I started to utilize this excitement by covering maximum distance. I have noticed that this excitement remains for 48 hours. If I am with like-minded people, I start driving in the night itself and cover maximum distance.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 11:55   #55
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re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

Ever wonder why truckers probably don't have the same issue? This is because it's their job, and they don't see any excitement in it.

This is nothing but an adrenaline rush - which is either caused by anxiety/stress (job interview/tough exam the next day) or extreme excitement (getting married?/first date/road trip).

Back in the caveman days, such anxiety induced sleeplessness was critical to survival from wild animals or neighbouring tribes at night. Not being sound asleep = alive for another day.

Countering this is not easy - you're basically trying to work against the biological response system of your body and brain.

One good way to counter this is to wake up extremely early in the morning the previous day of the trip - preferably at the same time you would on the day of the trip. You should pass out automatically by night fall (do not take your mobile phone to bed).
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Old 3rd December 2018, 13:48   #56
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Story of my life! I have never been able to sleep the night before a long drive. I still remember my first 'long' drive, to Mysore, 8 years ago. I was so excited just thinking about the impending drive that I even skipped dinner the night before. Now a days, I start driving at midnight itself, utilizing the time otherwise I would be fidgeting & waiting anxiously for the start of the drive.
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Old 3rd December 2018, 14:50   #57
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Re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

.. and I thought only I had problems on the "previous night".

Looks like there is a huge group of us out here.

Maybe it is the subconscious mind? Maybe it is the excitement.
Sometimes, I am not excited, but I still cannot sleep until before an hour or two of driving.
Although most of us do not feel sleepy while driving, it is dangerous to be sleep deprived.
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Old 22nd February 2023, 11:50   #58
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Re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

Its been more than a decade since i started this thread. So thought of bumping it up again !

Looking back, with significant time passed, now my experience is little different.
The excitement levels are NOT as high as it was a decade ago, thanks to aging and may be more maturity with less adrenaline levels

Of course, still some amount of restlessness is there to be honest to ensure things go as planned especially before a long drive with family, but obviously the % levels are very different now than earlier.

That said, i ensure i get atleast 5 to 6 hours of sleep before getting behind the wheels. If it gets delayed so be it.

What's the experience now for others over time?

-Ravi
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Old 22nd February 2023, 12:07   #59
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Re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

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Originally Posted by ravib View Post
Its been more than a decade since i started this thread. So thought of bumping it up again !

Looking back, with significant time passed, now my experience is little different.
The excitement levels are NOT as high as it was a decade ago, thanks to aging and may be more maturity with less adrenaline levels

Of course, still some amount of restlessness is there to be honest to ensure things go as planned especially before a long drive with family, but obviously the % levels are very different now than earlier.

That said, i ensure i get atleast 5 to 6 hours of sleep before getting behind the wheels. If it gets delayed so be it.

What's the experience now for others over time?

-Ravi
I have a similar feeling now. My lack of sleep due to excitement started when I was a kid before doing long trips and continued when I started riding or driving long trips.
The last couple of years it has been better, but now the excitement is replaced by stress and anxiety about the trip.
The lack of sleep ends up giving me a headache towards the end of the journey as well.
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Old 22nd February 2023, 12:28   #60
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Re: Why can't one sleep well before a long drive?

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The last couple of years it has been better, but now the excitement is replaced by stress and anxiety about the trip.
The lack of sleep ends up giving me a headache towards the end of the journey as well.
You have shared my sentiment. To head out on a long road trip nowadays is more about anxiety and restlessness. The mind and brain get more involved in the thoughts of office - what work is pending and what might happen in your absence. The next part of anxiety is the car. Will it work flawlessly? In a one side trip of 500 km, I always take 3+ hours for the first 100 km. And the total time goes up to 10 hours.

However, while returning home, the same 500 km is dismissed in less than 7 hours. I don't understand this pattern.

Last edited by Swapnil4585 : 22nd February 2023 at 12:30.
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