Chewing Sunflower Seeds Can Help You Stay Awake

September 22, 2010 at 5:00 am 4 comments

By Kaye Nemec

We’ve all been there: we’re driving late at night, determined to make it to our final destination, growing more tired with each passing mile. We roll our windows down, turn up the radio’s volume, gulp down caffeine — anything to keep our eyelids from dropping.

Drowsy driving is a dangerous situation. In fact, studies show that it can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Of course the best solution would be to pull over and get some rest. But if you have no choice and really need to keep on driving, try chewing sunflower seeds to stay awake.

Eating sunflower seeds (with shells) is not an easy task. The act of using your teeth to crack the seed, figuring out how to remove the seed from the shell and successfully discarding the shell, not to mention eating the seed, will keep your brain focused. Be sure to have an empty cup or bottle handy to spit the shells into or your car will be a mess when you finally get to your destination.  Grabbing a healthy drink to go with the seeds is a good idea too, they are certainly a salty snack and will leave you feeling pretty thirsty.

Mastering the art of eating sunflower seeds “hands free” can take a little time, so if you’re not quite there yet I recommend a few practice sessions at home before taking this trick out on the road. The point is to keep your mind active and alert, but not to be so distracted that you’re unable to focus on safe driving.

Want to kill two birds with one stone? At your next pit stop, get a package of SumSeeds.  They’re a brand of sunflower seeds infused with caffeine, taurine, lysine and ginseng. They come in four flavors; original, salt & pepper, honey BBQ and dill pickle. If your local store doesn’t carry them, you can get them from Amazon.

In addition to the mental concentration and energy it takes to eat sunflower seeds, their nutritional value will also help improve your overall health and wellness. Unlike the sugars and refined carbohydrates often found in common “pick me up” snacks, sunflower seeds are packed with healthy fats, protein and fiber.

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Entry filed under: Automotive, Food and Drink. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bearfoot  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:29 am

    While I agree with the idea that driving tired is a bad idea as my father’s friend was killed that way, wouldn’t this be another distraction and unsafe in and of itself?

    I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m just saying.

    • 2. DA  |  February 13, 2013 at 11:27 am

      actually it really works, because eating is something you can do with out really thinking about it. if you put a few in your mouth and have a cup, it is no more distracting then a radio or someone talking to you. it does really work i’ve done it several times on long driving vacations

  • 3. Matt  |  July 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    No. I’ve been using this method of staying awake while driving long distances or while I’m sleepy at work for over 20 years. It never fails.

  • 4. Matt  |  July 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I forgot to mention: I usually get the non-name brand seeds. Name brands like David have a wide variety of tasty flavors but are much too salty. I usually buy convenience store brands (like Wawa or Sheetz). They’re cheaper but more importantly have much less salt in them. After eating salty ones for a while, I feel like my lips are going to fall off. The convenence store brands don’t do that.


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