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Jolt Gum Adopt a US unit for Jan 2015 - USS Frank Cable STS Funk from the USS Frank Cable wrote and we selected his team for the Jolt Gum adopt a unit program.   The Frank Cable's sole job is to fix submarines  - fast and...

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Jolt Gum congratulates the Red Sox!   Chew your way to your own championship!   The Red Sox bounced back from a 2012 season they'd rather forget by turning their won-loss record virtually...

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Be more creative. Add noise. Go Goldilocks on noise.  Get it just right and be more creative. It doesn't go to 11, but that noise does give me an idea.... In our never-ending (but occasionally...

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10,000 days of Jolt Cola Jolt Cola was the 1st energy drink sold pretty much anywhere.     Well, there was this also guy named Chaleo who started an energy drink in Thailand in the 1970's,...

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Jolt Energy Gum actually makes you smarter Caffeine all by itself increases alertness, focus, mental speed, and helps improve memory.  Chewing gum all by itself  increases alertness, focus, and most kinds of memory....

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Part III – How to stay awake while driving

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6 Tips to Help you Stay Awake while Driving

Continued from Part II 

1) Sleep

If you’re under 30 or a trucker, you’re more likely to be drowsy and driving.  And if you’re sleepy and driving, you’re really really dangerous.  To yourself and others.  A study of truckers found that they averaged less than 5 hours sleep – not a big surprise then that drowsiness is likely responsible for more than half of all trucker fatalities.  And for every trucker who died driving, he or she killed another 3-4 in the same accident.   A study showed that even a one-hour loss of sleep from daylight savings time can be dangerous.

According to a National Sleep foundation white paper on drowsy driving, your body needs at least 7-8 hours.  So if you just sleep for 8 hours the night before a road trip, are you ok?  Alas, no.  Your body builds up sleep debt, and one good night of sleep is not always enough to fix that.  Do yourself and those traveling with you a favor and get at least 7 hours of sleep a few nights in a row.

If you can’t do that, take a micro-nap at the first sign of drowsiness.  Even 15-20 minutes can make a big difference, especially if you precede the nap by…

2)   Eating and drinking the right foods

Before your trip, eat a light meal with foods having a low  glycemic index.  Heavy meals and meals with high glycemic indexes exacerbate sleepiness.  So, are Italian and Chinese food off the list?  Not by a long shot.  Cheeses such as  Parmesan, Romano and Asiago contain the amino acid tyramine and are known to help keep you up. Fermented soy products actually have some of the highest amount of tyramine —soy sauce, tofu, miso, and even teriyaki sauce are great sources.

If you’re already on the road, step up to the caffeine machine.  You probably don’t need a long analysis of caffeine or a recommendation from AAA to know that it’s a useful tool to stay alert once you’re on the road.  But steer clear of caffeine sources with lots of sugar such as regular colas and energy drinks.  While the sugar rush can help you for a little while, the danger from the ensuing sugar crash can counteract the benefit from caffeine.

Chewing gum is also something that can help. Chewing gum has been proven to increase alertness. The double plus good version of chewing gum to keep you awake would be a caffeinated chewing gum such as Jolt Energy Gum.  It tastes like regular gum, but two pieces have the boost of a coffee.

Jolt Energy Gum - caffeine + gum = good

Chewing gum keeps awake. Caffeine keeps you awake. Chewing gum with caffeine keeps you really awake!

3)   Slip into something a little… less comfortable

Warm, comfortable rooms or cars don’t make you tired, but they can make you sleepy if you’re already in sleep debt.  And according to the National Sleep Foundation, most of us already are.  In their 2009 study on sleep, they found the average adult got only 6.7 hours of sleep on a work night.

One way to counteract sleep inducing effects of sleep debt is to remove enhancers… such as warmth and comfort.   First, we need to ask why if you know you’re getting sleepy, you haven’t pulled over for a short nap.  But assuming you have your reasons, go ahead, roll down the windows.  Turn on the air conditioner.  And make yourself genuinely uncomfortable.  Sit on a pen.  Put your foot in a weird position.  Whatever it takes to get… uncomfortable.

4)   Get your Tech on

Auto manufacturers know how dangerous drowsy driving can be.  Some car makers have been taking this to hear with some very cool new tech to help you stay alive.

Assuming you’ve got a little spare change, there are a bunch of new phone apps that purport to keep you on this side of R.E.M.  Apps like Drivia, Anti-Sleep Pilot, and Anti-Drowse are designed to help keep you from napping while more mechanical devices such as NoNap theoretically do the same thng.

If you’ve got a lot of spare change, check out the new Mercedes.   It’s new “Attention Assist” system covers 70 variables while it assesses your wakefulness.

5)   Occupy your brain

Monotony and a boring straight drive are the hobgoblins of drowsiness.  Basically, a long, straight highway is practically hypnotizing you to sleep.  Hopefully, you’ve got a co-pilot in the car and the two of you can keep each other awake with car games that force you to use your brain a bit.

If there’s no one in the car, use a lifeline and “phone a friend.”  Just make sure you use a hands-free.  Distracted driving statistics show that phone calls dramatically increase accidents too!

If you don’t have a co-pilot and there’s no one you can call, you can always try a really good audio book.  Find the most engrossing author and actor you can.  A monotonous voice over can ruin a great story!

6)   Sing out loud.  Sing out Strong.

You’re in the car.  It’s late.  You’re tired.  Sing.  Just TRY to fall asleep while singing.  It’s near impossible.  You’ll need to plan this one in advance so you can make a playlist of road-trip sing-a-long karaoke songs.  Tuning your XM/Sirius to a station you like is definitely an option, but inevitably some of the songs you’ll hear aren’t good sing a long songs.  Bring your own.

Up next… our favorite play list of great sing-a-long driving songs.

Posted on : 26-12-2012 | By : Debra | In : Caffeine, Caffeine gum, Drowsy Driving, Safety

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How NOT to be a drowsy driver – caffeine is just the beginning, Part II

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Causes of Sleepiness

Continued from part 1

In a AAA study on drowsy drivers, about 50% of the sleepy drivers who crashed reported that they felt only “slightly” or “not at all” drowsy before they crashed.  That percent isn’t far off the 40% who said they would deal with any drowsiness while driving after they got sleepy rather than try to prevent it.

We’ll skip past the obvious flaw in that “logic” – it’s pretty clear if you’re waiting to prevent sleepiness until after you’re sleepy, but don’t know you’re sleepy until after you crash, it’s probably a little late to do anything about it.

The less obvious problem in that logic is how caffeine actually works to keep you awake and alert.  Caffeine works much better as a prophylactic, preventative measure to keep you from geting tired than an after-the-fact remedy.  Here’s how it works: The more tired you are, the more of a nucleoside, adenosine, your body creates.  When adenosine finds its way to the adenosine receptors in your brain, *poof*, those receptors signal your body it’s time to rest, i.e. you get tired.  One of the key ways caffeine works is by functioning as an adenosine blocker.  Caffeine is structurally similar to adenosine so it kinda sorta fits, but different enough not to switch on the sleep response.  If there’s a caffeine molecule lodged in there first, the adenosine molecule can’t get in to bid and make you tired.

Caffeine works better if you take it BEFORE you get tired

Give adenosine and tired-ness the Heismann. Take caffeine before you get tired, not after.

What to do if you’re already tired?

If the adenosine gets in there first, then then the best thing you can do is fill your body with caffeine and then take a short nap of even 15-20 minutes.  This will signal your body to “refresh” and now the caffeine can fill your adenosine receptors first!

Sleepiness or drowsiness is usually brought one of two factors: lack of sleep (or the lack of good sleep), and your body’s natural body clock which programs us to be sleepy twice a day, once in the middle of our night time sleep period, and a second time in the late afternoon.  According to “Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine,” other factors such as what you eat, room temperature, monotony (boring meeting, long, straight highway), etc. can “unmask” the physiological need but do not cause it.    We prefer our sleepiness masked.  Stay away from these foods before a road trip because they can exacerbate sleepiness:

Don’t make it Worse!  

Good foods that are good to avoid before a long road trip:

Almonds:  Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, which both help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm, so great for a pre-bedtime snack, but not so helpful pre-roadtrip.

HoneyHoney contains glucose, which triggers your brain to stopproducing orexin — one of the chemicals known to trigger alertness.  We like alertness when we’re driving.  So we like orexin.  And we’d prefer all the other drivers had some too.  Save your inner Pooh for until after you arrive.

BananasThe magnesium and potassium found in bananas serve as muscle and nerve relaxants. Accordingly, bananas make an awesomely health spa treat, but are clearly

Bananas may taste good, but they also might make you drowsy

Bananas – good for monkeys, bad for road trips.

less useful in the drivers’ seat.  What’s more, the Vitamin B6 found in the fruit also converts tryptophan into serotonin, increasing relaxation even more.  Vitamin B6 has other benefits, which is why it’s in some energy drinks, but if alertness right now is one of your goals, avoid bananas and vitamin B6.

Cereal with milk If you’re planning on eating a healthy breakfast before a roadtrip, try something other than cereal and milk.  Ironically, cereal and milk make a great bedtime food.  Cereal has a great balance of protein and carbohydrates. These two essential nutrients, when combined, will put you to sleep in no time. That’s because protein contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which makes you feel sleepy, and carbohydrates help tryptophan reach the brain more easily.   Not really a big problem if you’ve had a good night sleep, but possibly an issue if you, like us, had to put sleep on the back burner.

High Glycemic FoodsFoods with a high glycemic index spike your body’s blood sugar, which in turn causes your body to start manufacturing insulin on an over-time, 3-shifts-a-day schedule.   That’s a) not really healthy and b) a good way to fall asleep right after the initial sugar rush.  And since sleeping is a really bad idea while driving, definitely stay away from those high glycemic index foods. And since those foods aren’t always obvious (e.g. a baked potato can have twice the glycemic index of a cola!) we’d suggest reviewing a good glycemic index chart so you know what you’re eating and drinking.

Continued tomorrow with Part III tomorrow: What you should eat and drink, and how to stay awake

Posted on : 18-12-2012 | By : morebetter | In : Caffeine, Caffeine gum, Drowsy Driving, Safety, Science of caffeine

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Don’t drive Drowsy!

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Listen to my voice…You’re getting sleeepy…

 

You’re driving….

 

WAKE UP!

 

In a recent study, more than 50% of New York State drivers admitted that they had driven while drowsy in the past year, while almost 25% percent reported that they had fallen asleep while driving at some point in their lives.  But people are tired all the time, right?  Does this sleepiness really amount to anything more than a little yawning?  Big-time super-cala-soporfic-ally yes.  Drowsy driving causes 100,000 crashes each year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Don't be one of the drowsy driver statistics

Lack of Sleep = Same Impact as Drinking Alcohol

 

When people were kept awake for 17 hours, they tested the same on cognitive-motor tests as a person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 percent; after staying awake 24 hours they tested equivalent to a BAC of 0.10 percent.  0.08 percent is enough to get you arrested for DUI in all 50 states, so basically, if you wake up at 6 am and drive home at 2:30 a.m., your driving skills would be the same as if you were DUI!

Even a micro-sleep, i.e. a quick “zone-out,” can be enough to cause serious trouble.  If you’re driving 60 mph, you’re going 88 feet per second.  Fall asleep for just three seconds, and you’ve nearly covered the length of a football field!

Who’s most likely to nod off behind the wheel?  Grandpa?  Actually, grandpa might be your safest driver as it relates to drowsy driving statistics.  It’s the grandkids you should be worried about.  Drivers aged 18-29 are 3.5x more likely to drive drowsy than seniors 65+.  71% of those 18-29 admitted to driving while drowsy, a number that gets higher still among men and people who work night shifts.

Our friends at The Automobile Association of America (AAA) offer two proven tips for staying awake:  Get sleep, and take caffeine. Caffeine we can do.  We can happily do (see Juan Valdez, Red Bull, Jolt Gum).  But while we’d all love a solid nine hours of sleep every night, we imagine even the good folks at Triple A aren’t getting that much.  So what can you do to stay awake?

Part II tomorrow…..

Posted on : 17-12-2012 | By : morebetter | In : Caffeine, Caffeine gum, Drowsy Driving, Safety, Science of caffeine

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