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How To Plan For And Stay Sharp During Overnight Return Drives from London to Edinburgh

Driving at night can be exciting and frightening at the same time. While most people would not be comfortable driving at night, a good number love overnight drives, and with a good reason. First, there’s not much activity or cars on the road at night, hence no need to worry about traffic. The risk of distractions is also significantly reduced as well. On the flip side, nighttime driving can be risky, especially when driving in new neighborhoods or if something should happen to your vehicle. You’d have to be behind the wheel when everyone is asleep. This can hugely impact your entire system, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Chances of falling asleep at the wheel are greatly increased too. For this reason, it would be advisable to plan overnight drives from London to Edinburgh well to ensure you aren’t not only alert but well-rested for the entire trip.

Are you planning your first overnight drive? Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep you safe and alert throughout the journey.

  1. Avoid High Contrast Lights (Or A Lit Cabin) 

The first rule of driving at night is never to have bright lights in the cabin. Any unnecessary lights, such as the overhead lamp and some dashboard lights, should be turned off soon after hitting the road. Any bright lights will only produce a sharp contrast with the environment outside, making it hard to focus on the road ahead. As counterintuitive as it might seem, driving in a dark cabin helps keep you awake and makes driving more comfortable at night. Avoid staring into oncoming traffic by keeping your eyes on your lane.

  1. Maintain A Clear Head 

Never take up the wheel when tired or depressed. The rule of thumb for staying safe when driving at night is to have a clear head. However bad your day was, pushing negative emotions away and focusing only on driving and getting to your destination safely would be advisable. The last thing you want is to take on the road fuming about anything. Stress and depression can be physically and emotionally draining; another reason you want to maintain a level head. The same can be true, especially when you are excited about the trip or something else. Being too enthusiastic on the road can cause you to make costly mistakes. This is one of the reasons experts recommend keeping it to yourself and, if possible, turning the radio to a very low volume (but audible) and concentrating on the road.

  1. Careful What You Eat 

While it is OK to bring something to bite (say a fruit) while on the road, you still need to be careful what you eat. For most drivers, a bag of chips, burgers, etc., suffices for a quick snack to keep you energized. Although snacks are OK, you do not want to go for anything with lots of sugar or carbs. Foods rich in carbohydrates, i.e., French fries, can take a toll on your ability to concentrate on the road. The excess sugars may overload your system, making you sluggish and sleepy a few minutes later. Greasy burgers and fried chicken should thus be out of the question, however tempting they might be. Pack and bring enough healthy foods for the trip. A well-balanced meal plan with grilled meat, fruit cup, and salad would be a wise choice for the trip. You can also ask for a healthy food option at fast food chains if you don’t have enough time to prepare a packed dinner. Foods rich in dietary fiber and low on carbs will help keep your energy levels high and boost your focus throughout the trip. Keep your car neat, tidy and clean from snack debris with car floor mats. 

  1. Grab A Cup Of Coffee

A cup of coffee will come in handy when planning for a long overnight drive. For starters, coffee is a stimulant and will keep you fresh and focused for the bigger part of the journey. Coffee will also help keep your energy levels up.

  1. Don’t Take Too Much Caffeine

While a cup of coffee is OK for the trip, one cup is all you need for the night. Too much caffeine in the system can cause an energy crash or, even worse, make you jumpy. Anything with lots of sugars and caffeine should thus be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. 

  1. Stay Hydrated

Always bring a bottle of water or two when going for a long drive. Sipping the water as you drive along will help keep you well hydrated, making it easier to stay focused during the entire journey. You also do not want to get dehydrated or too thirsty in the middle of the night with all shopping malls and restaurants closed.

  1. Allow For Air Circulation

As tempting as turning up the heat in the cabin or closing all windows, you should consider keeping the temperature inside a few degrees cooler. If the truck/vehicle is too warm, the air quality inside will decline, making you drowsy and sleepy. That said, it is best to turn the AC ON, or even better, open the window a crack to allow some fresh air in. This will help keep you cool and comfortable. 

  1. Consider Some Vitamin Supplements

Although it might seem unnecessary, taking your vitamin supplements, especially vitamin D and Vitamin B supplements, can help boost your energy levels and keep you awake. You’ll also be in better shape, considering there’s no natural light at night.

  1. Go For A Walk

Overnight drives can get lonely and tiring at times. There are times when sleep will overwhelm you even before getting to your destination. This mostly happens if you have been behind the wheel for several hours or toward the wee hours of the morning. If/when this happens, look for a safe spot to park (preferably a filling station or supermarket), switch off the engine, and take a walk. Use this moment to stock up on drinking water or to stretch your muscles. This will help restart the system, buying you a few more hours to drive.

  1. Nap, If You Must

If you have been driving for hours and are overwhelmed with sleep, it is always wise to take a nap if all else fails. As mentioned before, you only need to look for a safe place to park and nap. Unknown to many, a 20-minute nap is all you need to allow the body re-energize and reset. Set the alarm to avoid napping for too long, as this will only worsen matters. If you’re just not able to go on then it might be best to look for a hotels in Edinburgh, London or the nearest town.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.

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