The best remedy for fatigue and drowsiness is a serene dream. You need to sleep in order to spend a few hours driving in a good mood. But what if only a few hours are left before the difficult journey? And it should be spent wisely to the body, in order to gain strength and withstand the stresses of travel.
Cycle and phases
Sleep is a complex physiological process, and it is broken down into cycles that consist of several phases.
The fast phase is characterized by the activation of all internal organs. At this time, models of expected events are realized and subconscious finds answers to the questions posed during the day. This is the name of the phase because a person’s eyes move reflexively during sleep. He has dreams about what he has seen. The fast phase lasts about half an hour and then flows to the next stage.
Slow (deep) sleep takes more than an hour in duration. It is characterized by a slowdown in all physical processes. During this period, cells are renewed, energy reserves are replenished, bones and joints are straightened, and muscle tissues are restored to working order. During deep sleep, the brain completes the processing and adaptation of information, memory structures what it sees the day before and requests permission to wake up after each cycle. If there is no need to get up, the nervous system starts the next cycle. The body starts the period of energy recovery again and activates protective functions. A person needs peace of mind to complete this complex process.
But if in the middle of a cycle something break its course, to lift the person by force and try to force it to carry out difficult operations, most likely, it will not work out. The brain, of course, will give a command for emergency awakening, but will continue to perform the process, though with significant delays.
A person will feel exhausted, “broken” and depressed until the nervous system does not adapt.
As a result, some time after interrupted in the middle of a slow sleep phase a person will feel no less tired than before falling asleep.
Therefore, it is necessary to get up only after the completion of the full cycle of sleep. It is essential, to plan rest before the trip, to spend in bed one and a half hours.
Driver’s sleep planning
In other words, you need to sleep for about an hour and a half or three hours. But not two and not three and a quarter. If you do one cycle, it will give strength for three or four hours and by 4-5 in the morning the driver will start peck his nose. The strength will not be enough. Therefore, it is best that the brain completes two cycles of sleep, which is approximately three hours. Then you can drive for 5-6 hours during the night and get to your destination without any problems with falling asleep. If you lie down and fall asleep at 8 p.m., then after 11 p.m. you can get up and prepare for the trip. The most important thing is that you do not need to interrupt the cycle in order to sleep in absolute darkness and silence.
The most acceptable for nightlife is an early night’s sleep length of three cycles, which is about 4.5 hours. After that, it is possible to replenish the energy spent during the day. However, you will need to lie down and fall asleep at about 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. After such an evening’s rest you can get up quite cheerfully at 11 p.m. to prepare for the night trip. The accumulated strength will allow you to travel several hundred kilometers without feeling the urge to sleep.
However, then during the day the lack of sleep will still show itself and fatigue will make itself felt. In the afternoon it will be necessary to rest a little and to get the missing 1.5-3 hours of rest. It takes 4-6 cycles, i.e. 6 to 9 hours of sleep, for the body to fully recover.