Originally created 10/09/01

Exercises can keep sleepy drivers from snoozing

In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.

- William Osler

A survey by the National Sleep Foundation recently found that 20 percent of drivers it asked admitted to falling asleep at the wheel last year, and half admitted driving while tired.

How do we avoid such snoozing motorists?

Drive defensively.

How do we avoid being such a motorist?

Dr. Ralph Templeton of the Georgia Chiropractic Association has some tips.

First, he says, motion is important.

"Keep moving. Your joints are loaded with specific nerves that send signals to your brain about the amount of activity you are doing. Essentially, if you sit still long enough, your head thinks the body is preparing to recline so it switches into sleep mode."

Dr. Templeton suggests simple exercises, such as rolling your shoulders forward and backward, shaking your hands periodically and stretching your neck and legs when it is safe to do so.

We should also watch what we eat or drink while driving.

Dr. Suzanne Bisset, a clinical nutritionist and member of GCA, says drivers should stay away from anything high-glycemic such as sodas, sweets, corn and wheat. "Like coffee," she says, "these might give you an immediate rush, but the crash will be just as quick."

Most importantly, both doctors say, is to get plenty of rest and to not drive while you're tired.

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MAILBAG: From Harrah's in Las Vegas comes a postcard from Kathy and Janny Bijas. They write: "This is our final vacation of the summer and our fifth postcard to you. Having a wonderful time with friends and family. Hot but not humid. Casinos are great."

And Bill Gross of Thomson sends a postcard from Canada. He writes: "Attending 25th Lions USA/Canada Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having a great time. Beautiful place to visit and enjoying the scenery."

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GOOD ADVICE: To choose the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.

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TODAY'S JOKE: Five-year-old little Johnny was lost, so he went up to a policeman and said: "I've lost my dad. Can you help me?"

"Sure," the cop said. "What's he like?"

"Beer and women," Johnny replied.

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bkirby@augustachronicle.com


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