This Is Why Car Rides Make You Sleepy – 12 Facts

This Is Why Car Rides Make You Sleepy – 12 Facts

You have probably fallen asleep during car rides, and you might be wondering what might be the cause. Could it be the lack of sleep, the movement, or tiredness?

There are many causes of this issue, and most of them should not worry you. Falling asleep or getting drowsy during car rides can be the best thing for people who suffer from sleep deprivation conditions.

Why do car rides make me sleepy

Also, falling asleep during car rides can reduce the boredom associated with long rides. Below are the reasons that can answer the question,” why do car rides make me sleepy?

1. Comfort

Riding a car can offer both physical and mental comfort, which can make you drift off to sleep. For instance, when you are not the one behind the wheel, you are not responsible for the lives of others.

It enables your mind to relax, thus making you tired. Also, the car seats have been designed to resemble our beds in soft, warm, and safe.

2. Monotony That Causes Highway Hypnosis

We are used to performing duties that make us busy and less bored. But riding in a car is full of monotony since we will be seeing and feeling the same things as the car moves from one place to another.

For example, turning a corner or hitting a speed bump several times can ruin our moods and make our minds go into a state known as highway hypnosis.

The highway hypnosis will make you sleep so you can feel or hear what is taking place within your surroundings. It explains why you immediately wake up when the car stops or even feel the car driving over a speed bump.

3. White Noise

Have you ever wondered why babies fall asleep when they hear a humming sound like a whistle or fan noise? Well, it is the humming sound coming from the engine that also makes you sleepy during car rides.

According to scientists, one of the reasons why we fall asleep is the consistent noise around us. That is why we usually fall asleep when we play soothing music or at night when our surrounding is silent and calm.

The consistent sound is the white noise and is responsible for making us fall sleepy during car rides. It does so by masking other noises that can disturb our drowsiness.

4. Car Vibration

Are you concerned with your health because you usually fall asleep during car rides? You shouldn’t be!

The car’s vibrations can also make you sleepy as it moves. Scientists argue that turning wheels, especially when riding on a smooth road, can make us fall asleep just like mothers rock their babies to sleep.

5. Your Body

Feeling sleepy during car rides sometimes has to do with your body. According to sleep scientists, people whose bodies can withstand fatigue; hence they rarely fall asleep during the rides.

Therefore, you shouldn’t be worried if you feel sleepy while the person next to you shows no drowsiness.

6. We Are Sedentary

Do you sometimes ask yourself why you can’t fall asleep at home even though you might be exhausted? Well, it is because you can distract yourself by moving from one room to the next or by keeping your mind busy.

But once you are in the car, you are held to the seats, and as such, you cannot move from one area to the next.

Also, your mind doesn’t have things to think about, and the only things that keep you busy are the humming of the car, the rocking of tires, and the outside scenery which takes you to sleep.

7. The Trust You Have In The Driver

Falling asleep while riding in a car also has to do with your trust in the driver. If you observe that the driver is careful and keen on traffic rules, you will have a lot of faith in him.

But if the driver seems drunk or careless, you will be restless, and this will prevent you from sleeping during the ride.

It explains why you feel sleepy on some car rides and awake on others.

Reasons why car rides make you sleepy

8. It Might Have To Do With Psychology

According to psychology, if you do things quite often, then it reaches a time when you don’t have to remind yourself to do it. It just happens.

So, if you get used to feeling sleepy whenever you take a car ride, it could be because it has become a habit.

Therefore, it might not have anything to do with the vehicle’s movement at all but the car’s condition, such as a cozy seat.

So, if you are looking for a way to stop feeling sleepy whenever you take a car ride, it would be good to examine and change your habit.

You can do so by creating distractions to help you avoid falling asleep, and in no time, you will be able to overcome them.

Such distractions may include reading a newspaper, listening to music, and browsing the internet.

9. It Could Be Due To Dehydration

If you are using a car with a poor ventilation system, the chances are high that its cabins will have very high temperatures.

A temperature above average body temperature will cause dehydration in the body which will, in turn, makes you tired and sleepy. But you can avoid this by taking plenty of water before and during the car rides.

10. Your Sitting Posture Might Be Making You Sleepy

The way you sit in the car can also make you sleepy. A good posture will make you more attentive and improve the functioning of your body muscles.

However, the car you are riding in may be designed so that its seats cannot accommodate your back’s lower curve. They may also lack the part that holds your head in an upright posture.

It will drain your muscles, thus making you tired and sleepy.

11. It Could Be Due To Your Medications

Some medications, such as Antidepressants, Benzodiazepines, and Antihistamines, have side effects that include drowsiness.

These side effects tend to be stronger when you are tired, and therefore, taking car rides when you are under these medications can make you sleepy.

It explains why their manufacturers always caution you not to drive after taking them.

12. Exhaust Fumes Could Be Getting Into The Cabin

Another reason car rides make you sleepy is the presence of exhaust fumes in the cabin. It happens when the exhaust systems malfunction.

These fumes have carbon monoxide, which, when you breathe in, you start feeling sleepy since they interfere with blood circulation.


After going through this article, you can concur that there are many reasons why car rides make you sleepy.

They include the presence of exhaust fumes in the cabin, highway hypnosis, your comfort, your body, white noise, etc.

Some of them can be disastrous to your health. For instance, the presence of fumes in the cabin can affect your breathing and even cause death.

But this should not scare you since such fumes can easily be diagnosed, and appropriate action can be taken. Therefore, it is vital to understand them to differentiate between the healthy and unhealthy ones.