"Drive Alert, Arrive Alive"

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"Drive alert...Arrive alive"

Sleep experts from Ingham Regional Medical Center have several things to help you do just that.

Three out of every five adults have driven drowsy in the past year, according to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation.

Researchers from the Ingham Center for Sleep and Alertness are asking all motorists to be extra careful when heading out for those long Memorial Day roadtrips.

"People are being really good about safety now, so lets add sleep into it," said Pam Minkley, one of Michigan's foremost experts on sleep deprivation. She said most people are not aware of what is called 'sleep debt.'

Most adults need eight hours of sleep a day, so over five days, you should have 40 hours. But say you get 36 hours of sleep over five days, your sleep debt would be four hours.

"Having 3-4 hours sleep debt over five days can still have an effect on your ability to drive, to be alert, to react," Minkley said.

Some quick things to keep in mind before taking long road trips:

1. Drive with a companion; passengers should try and stay awake to talk to the driver.

2. Avoid medications that may impair your performance

3. Allow time for breaks every 100 miles or two hours.