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Thread: Sleepiness

  1. #1

    Sleepiness

    I experience extreme sleepiness (at times) when on long rides, and most of my rides are long. I get plenty of rest at night, although I am tired when I go to bed at night. It seems when I strap the helmet on and get settled into my ride is when it happens mostly. Of course eating a big meal will certainly cause drowsiness, so I refrain from this as much as I can. Most of the time it is after a couple of hours of riding that this starts, and it is a BIG problem for me. I do occasionally use the Energy Shots (yea, I know this isn't good) but it is a lot better than hitting an 18 wheeler head on, and they do help but they also upset my stomach. Monster, Red Bull, etc. also help, but make me pee like a Russian racehorse, which isn't good for long distance riding. I usually ride from fuel stop to fuel stop, and don't stop unless I have to. It is just the way I ride, and you have to do this if you want to make time & get where you are going. Does anyone else experience this, and if so, what do you do? Sometimes I can stop, get off the bike, walk around a few minutes and all will be good...however, most of the time NOTHING helps. I am really worried about this, as I know if I shut my eyes for just a second it is going to be bad. All suggestions welcome . Also, I really don't think this is health issue (unless I crash ), because I don't have this problem unless I ride. Thanks..Gail
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  2. #2
    I sometimes get sleepy when riding on longer trips. Oftentimes I attribute this to dehydration. Nowadays I stop after about 75 to 90 minutes of riding. I will walk around a bit, drink some water, use the restroom, buy petrol, and then get going again feeling much more alert. Once the sleepy feeling returns I make another stop. I don't want to feel as though I am in a hurry and I want to enjoy the ride. Sometimes my stops are just a few minutes in duration, sometimes longer.

    Sometimes I will sit for a spell and have a little nap. Just 15 minutes can make me feel much better.

    I avoid medication that can make me sleepy when riding. During this time of the year the pollen in the air has quite an effect on my sinuses. While I am at home, not planning on riding I take the little pink pills (Benadryl) for allergy relief. When I am riding my nose will drip. Happily for most of the year I can get by just taking something like Zyrtec that lasts all day and doesn't make me sleepy.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by robsryder View Post
    I sometimes get sleepy when riding on longer trips. Oftentimes I attribute this to dehydration. Nowadays I stop after about 75 to 90 minutes of riding. I will walk around a bit, drink some water, use the restroom, buy petrol, and then get going again feeling much more alert. Once the sleepy feeling returns I make another stop. I don't want to feel as though I am in a hurry and I want to enjoy the ride. Sometimes my stops are just a few minutes in duration, sometimes longer.

    Sometimes I will sit for a spell and have a little nap. Just 15 minutes can make me feel much better.

    I avoid medication that can make me sleepy when riding. During this time of the year the pollen in the air has quite an effect on my sinuses. While I am at home, not planning on riding I take the little pink pills (Benadryl) for allergy relief. When I am riding my nose will drip. Happily for most of the year I can get by just taking something like Zyrtec that lasts all day and doesn't make me sleepy.
    I would start with a conversation with a doctor. You might have some type of sleep disorder - narcolepsy being an extreme one diagnosed only with several distinct tests.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  4. #4
    I've had similar experiences with getting sleepy while driving. I've had good luck with a couple of caffeine pills.
    Retired with a Wife that Rides, Life is Good!

  5. #5
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    Sleep

    My old RS has a Corbin seat it is much to uncomfortable to get sleepy on

  6. #6
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Gail, are you running a full-face helmet? If you are, try an open face with some sort of goggles and see what happens.
    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  7. #7
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    You are right to be worried. In our long distance rider world there have been several crashes later diagnosed as episodes of "micro sleep."

    https://www.verywellhealth.com/descr...osleep-3015366

    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves/
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  8. #8
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    YES...……..YOU ARE MUCH TO COMFORTABLE......For me, that is the key situation...…..A lousy seat....Something personal that is painful or lousy that you need to think about as you ride but not totally take your mind off of what you are truly doing, riding/driving...…..
    For me, when I drive my f250, I go through what you are doing; but with the Merc 320 roadster and the top down I am wide awake.....same as with on the bike riding or one of the mules I am wide awake because of the constant interaction with what is going on and the animal...…

    Perhaps also, accepting the fact that you are getting older!! What Paul had to say about a DOC IS VALID AND REAL.....check it out for sure......Shorter goals for the day allow you to get off after a fewer amount of miles and walk around the bike or area to wake up...……….Just thoughts...…….God bless......Dennis

  9. #9
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Gail, I have experienced sleepiness similar to what you describe. Typically it hits me in late morning even if we had a good night's sleep. The only safe thing to do is to stop. If I do so, then I try to move around by taking a quick walk around a parking lot, rest area or any available place. A technique that does work for me is to yell or sing as loudly as I can while riding. The combination of the noise and air moving through my lungs, along with a little bouncing around on the seat, can wake me right up. It has an even more dramatic impact on Annie if I fail to disconnect the Sena radios before belting out (I can't get no) Satisfaction. She then of course helps wake me right up. Good system.....
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  10. #10
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    Doesn't happen to me often but the few times it has I have stood up tall on the pegs for a minute at a good rate of speed with my face shield up and found that refreshes me pretty good.

  11. #11
    Thanks for all the replies! I am really struggling with this at times, and it can make me VERY miserable. I have tried everything suggested and the fresh air in the face, standing on the pegs, etc. do help, but not for long. I think I will try the caffeine pills and see if they work for me. I drink coffee, but not while riding due to having to stop too often. I have told Paul to just stop for a minute and let me walk around a bit. I also have been known to do exercises on the side of the road! Anything to become more alert. I do have a full face helmet, but it has a built in sun visor which allows me to open the face shield and still have protection for my eyes. Right now, the caffeine pills may be the ticket. It would just be plain stupid to have an accident due to falling asleep, as I am otherwise over the top about safety. This isn't something new for me, as I have suffered with bouts of this for years, but I've just got to find a solution before I become a hood ornament. Voni, the article pretty much sums it up exactly! THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM FOR ME. Thanks...Gail
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  12. #12
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortythorne View Post
    I usually ride from fuel stop to fuel stop, and don't stop unless I have to. It is just the way I ride, and you have to do this if you want to make time & get where you are going.
    FWIW, I've never been able to do that. I simply must get off the bike, usually at one-hour intervals. My legs and hips simply can't stand much longer than that on the bike.

    So don't feel bad if you have to stop, move around and get your blood circulating. And that reminds me - too long in one position can cause serious medical problems...like blood clots...
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  13. #13
    Registered User millsaps2's Avatar
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    I have experienced this problem, totaled my FJR1300 and trailer on the Blue Ridge Parkway, survived with only a broken leg. The basic medical problem was an issue with my thyroid, my doctor started me on Levothyroxine (underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). I would typically get very sleepy after lunch, I realized I had a problem and planned to stop at the next overlook, unfortunately I did not make the planned stop. Had a similar occurrence in ID last year but my buddy screamed in the Sena to wake me up. Since then I have gradually increased the med and the problem has been greatly reduced. Check with your doctor and have a complete blood check-up.

  14. #14
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    Try carrying a couple of apples with you and when you get sleepy eat one. Someone gave us this advice years ago. Apples contain something that will make you alert without caffeine. It really does work.
    Gary White

  15. #15
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    While I usually like to ride "tank to tank", I'm not beyond stopping for a mini nap if I find myself getting drowsy. I'll just find a rest area, city park, etc., pull off and lay down on a picnic table. It usually only take about 10 minutes, I wake up and back on the bike feeling refreshed and alert for the remainder of the ride.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

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