Traveling can be exhausting for parents, and if your kids are quiet in the back seat, you may feel the urge to take a snooze. It's helpful to take regular breaks as a passenger and get some sleep, but it's also important not to compromise your safety. Most importantly, make sure the car’s driver is not nodding off or falling asleep when you decide to take a nap. It's also important that children maintain proper positioning in their car seats or booster seats while sleeping. Take note if your children are slouching or pulling their seatbelt out of position, as this will need to be addressed. The tips below are intended for adults only.
Know What Position Works Best for You
You can do a few things to ensure a comfortable car ride if you're a passenger. The first thing is to figure out what sleeping position works best for you. If you like lying on your back, then it might be best to put some pillows behind your head and neck so that you don’t have any discomfort while sleeping in this position.
If lying on the side is more comfortable for you, try putting a pillow under one leg or both legs to elevate them slightly off the seat. Then place another pillow behind your head and neck before laying down with them in between them and under them to create even more support for your neck and head.
Improve your Posture
It's essential to keep your posture in mind as you drive, as this will affect your comfort. Your shoulders should be back and your spine straight. You should not slouch or lean forward or to the side, causing additional strain on your body. Avoid leaning on the window or door frame for long periods. It's also important to keep your feet flat on the floor, and resist the urge to place them on the dashboard, as this will compromise your safety in the event of a serious crash.
Let the Driver Know You’re Going to Sleep
Ask the driver to drive smoothly. You'll want to get where you're going quickly, but try not to be in a rush. Sleeping can be difficult if the driver is driving too fast or taking sharp turns, so you'll have difficulty falling asleep.
If you're planning on sleeping in the back seat, bring sunglasses or an eye mask if you don't have them. They'll help block out light from any windows and enable you to fall asleep faster. Consider using an inflatable neck pillow as it can be used for both sitting and lying down positions. If none of these options work for you, simply put on a baseball cap—it will help block out light around your head.
Geraldine Orentas is a writer in partnership with designer furniture retailer, Bauhaus 2 Your House.