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Nothing Works Better Than a Nap

Though a dose of caffeine can help behind the wheel

(HealthDayNews) -- If you're taking to the road for a long-distance destination, here's some useful advice for staying alert.

The journal Psychophysiology reports on results from the Sleep Research Laboratory at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, U.K., which observed 12 drowsy drivers on a simulated driving machine.

First, they had the drivers use the machines and recorded the number of possible accidents. Then they repeated the study after the drivers had taken 200 milligrams of caffeine (about one-and-a-half cups of coffee or four colas).

With the caffeine, the likelihood of an accident dropped by 66 percent. But when the drivers took a 15-minute doze, even if they didn't really fall asleep, and then had the caffeine, the likelihood of a sleep-related accident dropped by 91 percent.

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