Turns Out you Might not be Guilty of Falling Asleep Dehind the Wheel. Here’s why!
For any driver, the worst thing that can ever happen to them is catching a wink behind the wheel. Heck, it can spell tragedy for the driver and passengers inside, as well as others on the road. Plus let’s not even get started with the expensive medical bills accrued after an accident!
Over the years, sleepiness while driving has been associated with common stress triggers such as abnormally early mornings, working long hours throughout the day, or missing that daily dose of caffeine.
The Silent Sleep Inducer
However, a recent research study from RMIT University, Australia, is daring to tell an entirely different story.
As a matter of fact, it suggests that there is a silent trigger in the anatomy of a car which induces drowsiness. Turns out that this silent trigger might actually be the vibrations that a car makes when the engine is on!
Interestingly, the study further states that in as little as 15 minutes, sleep can be induced regardless of how active the driver is.
The new study has spiked quite a bit of worry amongst road safety experts as well as car manufacturers, who are looking to intensify the research in order to fully determine whether car seat vibrations actually induce sleep.
The Science behind it
So this is how it works. As you drive, the gentle car vibrations slowly lull the brain, making you calmer and more prone to dozing off. In turn, the nervous system follows suit by gradually shutting down a few minutes later.
Moreover, the study also claims that the steady vibrations that were experienced by test subjects were similar to those that trucks and cars generate. Indeed, upon carrying out the study, it was observed that these vibrations gradually induced sleepiness, even among those who were healthy and had had sufficient rest.
The main tool of the study was a virtual simulator that was calibrated to vibrate at a myriad of frequencies. Moreover, the volunteers underwent two trials, one where they were exposed to no vibrations while driving virtually, and the other while experiencing low-frequency vibrations of about 4-7 Hz.
Additionally, the researchers also measured the HRV (heart rate variability) of the participants over the course of 60 minutes. The HRV was used to indicate whether the subjects got drowsy by monitoring the reaction of the central nervous system as an individual prepared to sleep.
The data obtained by the monitors showed that participants began to feel drowsy after just 15 minutes on the virtual simulator. Moreover, by the 30-minute mark, the drowsiness was recorded to reach significant levels across the board, as participants began to feel sleepier and sleepier until the test came to an end.
So what was happening?
Researchers from the university claim that these vibrations were inadvertently inducing some sort of synchronization within the brain, resulting in sleep. That is why you might find it common to see a whole group of people in a van or bus falling asleep at the same time!
However, there were some notable limitations to the study. For example, the study had only a total of 15 participants.
Furthermore, one particular section of the study, the virtual simulator, proved to be quite monotonous, as participants only drove on a two-lane highway. There were no distractions akin to those of driving in real life, such as other cars and scenery.
That being, you can’t ignore that fact that about one in every five fatal accidents is associated with some sort of tiredness factor. So the study might just be onto something!
More in Mind & Mental
Study Reveals That Mindfulness Apps Have Positive Impact on Mental Health
Positive Impacts Of Mindfulness Apps A study by the University of Otago has revealed that making use of mindfulness meditation mobile...November 30, 2018
Subtle Tips to Help you Kill Your Phone Dependency
Phone addiction is at its all-time high. With all the social media platforms for one to access, and the fact that...November 28, 2018
Why You Can’t Get Over Someone You Never Had
Getting Attached To Others Without closure, it is quite easy to become attached to a person you never got the chance...November 28, 2018
Doctor Stresses The Importance Of Dietary Changes To Weight Loss
Change Of Dietary Pattern There are several widely popularized methods for losing fat and getting healthier. While some believe the most...November 28, 2018
Disappointed with Your Career? These Awesome Tips Will Turn It Around!
Careers are amazing, aren’t they? Not only are they full of awesome moments (especially when we all have a laugh about...November 28, 2018
How This Year’s Galvanize Conference Helps You Expand Your Career as a Female Professional
As much as there have been positive contributions in the empowerment of women, some professional ladies still face proverbial discrimination and...November 26, 2018
Top Ways to Psyche Yourself When You’re Down
What defines success? A lot. While it’s true that interpretation is open to one’s frame of mind at a particular point...November 26, 2018
Signs That A Long-Distance Relationship Is Doing Fine
Ensuring that your long-distance relationship stands the test of distance isn’t easy. It has been described as a very difficult relationship hurdle...November 26, 2018
Five Weight Loss Trends To Avoid This Year
We tend to emulate our favorite movie stars from tinsel town a lot. And in the process, we end up mindlessly...November 26, 2018