While riding a motorcycle has a lot of mental health benefits there’s one important tidbit to be mentioned about riding: it’s best if you get enough sleep before you do so.
It’s a liberating activity, but it can be ruined in a moment if you’re not getting enough sleep.
What can happen if you ride your motorcycle without getting enough sleep: the answer is a lot, and it’s important to prevent this from happening.
It Can Cause Accidents
Motorcycle riding does require you to be there. With a motorcycle, if you’re not fully aware and watching where you’re going, you can get into accidents. Just like driving cars, if you aren’t paying attention, you’re at risk. Motorcycle accidents can be quite dangerous, or even fatal. One way to help prevent accidents is to make sure you’re fully aware of what you’re doing. That means if you’re suffering from insomnia or exhaustion, it’s best if you don’t get on the bike.
You Need Your Full Attention on the Road
With a motorcycle in particular, you NEED your full attention on the road.
Just like with a car, if you’re not fully paying attention, it could be detrimental. While riding a motorcycle is great after a long day, if you’re not physically aware enough to switch gears when needed, pressing on the brake if you’re about to crash, or even using proper signals, you could find yourself in trouble. Riding motorcycles is an attention-heavy activity.
With motorcycles, you are exposed to the elements and your surroundings, so you have to be careful. Some people make way more mistakes when tired. Being tired can slow your reflexes and reaction times. The best way to ride a motorcycle is with your full attention, making sure you properly navigate it from point A to point B.
It Can Cause Riding Fatigue
Riding fatigue can happen when you’re riding a motorcycle for a long period of time. With motorcycles, most aren’t built for comfort, so they can get uncomfortable very fast. If you’re going to ride a long time, you want a motorcycle that’ll support your body correctly, with comfy handlebars and footrests. It’s important to be alert, awake, and aware when riding motorcycles.
It Can Make You Irritable
Sleep is important for well-being and all of us have been overly tired before and it is not fun. Lack of sleep can cause you to be irritable and act differently. On the road, this means that you could be more prone to road rage which can lead to a host of other issues including accidents or fights.
It Won’t Be Enjoyable
Adequate sleep is crucial for overall mood. Many people who ride their motorcycles do so purely for the joy of the experience. However, it will not be as fun if you are not fully rested. In fact, your memory of the ride may even suffer. Instead, you should try to get enough sleep long before you even think about jumping on your motorcycle. It can make for a more enjoyable and positive experience.
Could Fall Asleep
While it may seem unlikely, if you are tired enough or go without sleep for too long, it could lead you to fall asleep while riding your motorcycle. As you can imagine, this can be dangerous for you and everyone else who is on the road. Think about your safety and the safety and welfare of others before you decide to ride your bike while you are exhausted.
It Can Affect Vision
Yes, sleep can negatively impact vision. It can cause blurriness that may make it hard for you to see road signs, lights, and other drivers on the road. Severe lack of sleep can also lead to hallucinations that can be detrimental to your ability to drive your motorcycle. Finally, poor sleep or insufficient sleep can also cause your eyes to be more sensitive to light which can cause you to be distracted or unable to properly see the vehicles and road around you.
Signs That You Should Not Ride
It is important to be aware of the signs of sleepy driving in order to avoid some of the negative reasons that you should not ride a motorcycle if you have not slept enough. It may sound obvious, but if you feel like you are dozing off or falling asleep, then be sure to pull over for a nap or avoid riding altogether if possible.
Another sign of drowsy driving is frequent yawning. You may also feel like your eyes are tired or that it is hard to keep them open. This may feel like you are blinking more than normal as well. You may begin to drift around your lane or even into other lanes.
Another sign that may be less obvious is the affect sleepiness can have on your memory of driving. If you do not remember the last few miles, then you may want to pull over. You may also have a tendency to miss road signs or exits when you are excessively tired. Finally, it may be harder than normal to maintain a safe speed or distance from other vehicles on the road.
Other Causes of Sleepy Riding
Other than a lack of sleep, there are other causes of sleepy riding. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can make it hard to be fully aware because these disorders interrupt healthy sleeping patterns. Alcohol can also lead to sleepiness or drowsiness and should always be avoided before and during motorcycle rides. Some medications also have a similar effect.
Auto accidents caused by sleepiness most often occur between 12 am and 6 am. However, they can happen at any time, and it is always important to be aware of your own state when you are deciding whether it is a good time for a motorcycle ride.
Motorcycles can be fun, but they become hazardous if you have not had enough restful sleep. Drowsy riding can lead to accidents and road rage, and you should always avoid riding a motorcycle if you are not going to be completely aware. If you feel like you are too tired to ride while you are on the road, make sure to pull over and take a nap. Coffee can also be helpful but is not an adequate substitute for quality sleep.