Cowart's Common Room

I find as I get older that driving makes me increasingly tired, not just at the time but the next day. Driving for four hours or so has as much of a negative effect the next day as a mild hangover.

Most similar aged friends don't seem to get tired in this way they are 'tired after a long drive' sort of tired but not knocked out as I am. Am I doing something wrong? Sitting awkwardly, gripping the wheel too tightly, concentrating too intently? Or do I just have a shortage of whatever neurotransmitters that driving requires? Anyone have any theories on this?

Posted at 17th Dec 2007 - 09:19AM   Posted by Fennie   Driving Comments: 12


That is so true. I thought it was just me. I have always loved driving but do find I get more tired of late, especially longer journeys. And over the last couple of years I really hate night driving-my eyes play all kinds of tricks-I've had them tested and they are fine but I much prefer not to go out than drive of an evening.

I suspect it is concentrating more that makes me so tired.


Posted by: Country Craft Angel on 17th Dec 2007 at 09:24AM

Both OH and myself enjoy driving but we have always split the driving. Two hours on two hours off, it really does help.

It is recommended here that after two hours one stops and takes a break. Just getting out of the car helps.

I try not to drive at dusk or dark as I find the concentration needed is just too much being short-sighted

Love your blogs btw.

Posted by: Miss penelope on 17th Dec 2007 at 09:27AM

Preseli Mags's Avatar Driving has always made me tired, even being a passenger on a long journey gives me a travel hangover the following day. In spite of that I do love going on long trips!

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 17th Dec 2007 at 10:01AM

Cait's Avatar A lot of things tire me nowadays. I can't cram in as many activities as I used to. I went to a party on Saturday night, didn't drink a drop of alcohol but had what felt like a hangover the next day. My daughter suffers from that though, so it can't be an age thing, she says it is all about the absorption of energies from other folk. We are alike in that respect.
Speaking of which, since I have lived in the wilds I find going to towns and cities really drains me, anyone else the same?

Posted by: Cait on 17th Dec 2007 at 10:05AM

Faith's Avatar Fennie, its not just you! I remember years ago when I was only lates 30s, early 40s, I did a 4 hour drive in the driving rain on unfamiliar roads and motorway. Hub2 was there in car, but poorly (natch) and of course the petrol light came on and I was trying to ignore it as nowhere to get any and little madam Em in the back piped up - Mummy what is that red light? so then Hub2 was worried and we started arguing..... nightmare trip and then the next day I felt absolutely exhausted, like I had flu or something.

Posted by: Faith on 17th Dec 2007 at 10:24AM

Preseli Mags's Avatar That's so true Cait. I find towns and cities are too fast, the pavements are too hard and there's so much going on, I'm visually exhausted after an hour or so! I find Carmarthen bad enough, but went to London last year and got completely overwhelmed. I think towns and cities take a bit of getting used to.

But I have also seen it in reverse - when I was a student going from Pembrokeshire to Aberystwyth was from rural to town. Then I met students from places like London and Manchester and they found the opposite transition quite hard to take too (and some of them are still in Aber 20 years later!)

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 17th Dec 2007 at 10:29AM

Ivy's Avatar I think it is a lack of fluids. One tends not to drink enough on travels like that one economizes on the intake of fluids as the stops you need after sufficient drinking are considered as nuisance.The air conditioning in cars make you dehydrate more easily and thus you get sleepy and feel uneasy the next day. A short stop for as little as 5 minutes every hour is supposed to be very refreshing even if you just inhale motorway air.

Posted by: Ivy on 17th Dec 2007 at 11:16AM

Elizabethm's Avatar Some good ideas I think here. I have always loved driving but do get more knocked out these days. I think the taking breaks and taking in plenty of fluids are likely to help. I always intend to take breaks but then get gripped by getting there fever and just drive furiously on
I know just what you mean about cities being tiring cait. I find the combination of my weekly train journey to london plus simply being in london quite shattering some weeks. More the noise and dirt than any physical effect I think

Posted by: Elizabethm on 17th Dec 2007 at 12:01PM

Fennie's Avatar All this is very interesting. Mmmm. And the business of being totally drained by people - in cities, at parties. Worst I find is when you have to do battle in a crowded store. By contrast I love walking in the open air across fields by myself - that always energises me. Cait, I think you are on to something.

Posted by: Fennie on 17th Dec 2007 at 12:29PM

Withy Brook's Avatar Have found cities exhausting for most of my life but much worse now.
When I was younger, I loved a long trip eg Northumberland to Wales or some such, even though I suffered from getting-there-itis and only stopped for a pee or fuel. Gradually it got harder. Now I fly if possible.
Long journeys with G - we take it in turns - no discipline on times, just as the driver gets tired. Last time we did N'land to the South Coast, we stopped a night on route more to save hassle than anything else as catching a ferry.
Speed makes a great difference. If driving at 50 to 60 I can go on for ever, even now. Trouble is other things being equal, I go at 80.
Fruit drops with sugar in them are a good pick-me-up. One's blood sugar gets depleted, as well as needing water.
Tired eyes - sunglasses? Or maybe you need glasses for distance? A few minutes rest fairly frequently help too.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 17th Dec 2007 at 03:09PM

Westerwitch's Avatar I notice my already dry eyes get very dry in teh car so suspect we are all getting dehydrated when in teh car for any length of time and that will make you feel tired and as though you have a hangover.

I find too much contact with a lot of people emotionally bruising, draining and very sad to see just how selfish and unpleasant many people have become.

And yes by contrast a walk every day with the dogs is energising.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 17th Dec 2007 at 05:43PM

Camilla's Avatar I dont think it is you Fennie, I can become quite tired when driving for a longer length of time, and when there are drivers who dont heed to correct way of driving on the roads when you are on it, makes it even more tiring. I loathe driving at night, get very anxious, so this in turn makes me feel very tired.


Posted by: Camilla on 18th Dec 2007 at 02:59AM

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