Anti Sleep Alarm
Did you know you could be asleep for a few seconds and never realize it. Scientist call these microsleeps. When your really tired and force yourself to stay awake, you brain will sneak in little naps. They usually last for 2-3 seconds but can last for 30 seconds or more. The frightening thing is that you don't realize that your were asleep. Researches observed that drivers could sleep for up to 8 seconds without realizing it. That's plenty of time to drift out of your lane, and crash into a tree, a sign, or an oncoming car.
During a microsleep, you stop responding to events around you. You brain has, in some sense, turned its self off for a few moments. If nothing happens during a microsleep eposide, you'll probably make it through OK. But if something happens, there is a curve in the road, the car in front of you breaks, or your car drifts of out its lane, you will never notice it. You just keep driving straight.
So how do you know if you've had a microsleep, or if your are going to have one. You can't. We've observed that people often wake up from a microsleep with a jerk of the head. If you've ever been driving when you were really tired and felt your head jerk, chances are you were just asleep. The only reason you didn't crash just then was that the road you were on was straight. As soon as you feel any of the signs of drowsiness like heavy eye lids, pull over for a nap. It could save your life.
There are three main points that all drivers should understand about sleep. They are:
* Sleep comes in waves
* Sleep comes without warning
* You cannot will yourself awake
Remembering these three points and learning to recognize the signs of drowsiness in yourself are key to keeping yourself safe.