Why does sleeping in a car feel different than normal sleep?



When i fall asleep on car trips it kinda of feels like I’m asleep but Concious at the same time. I can hear conversations, music, etc. why does this happen?

In: Physics


Basically, when traveling, only half of your brain is asleep. The other half stays alert to any changes etc so that you may be able to respond to anything it views as a threat.

But in a car (instead of in a house) your body also experiences a constant movement (part of highway hypnosis) that makes you sleepy. So it’s easier to fall asleep but your mind still wants to remain partially alert in case of danger.

Your results may vary. I am not a doctor. I cannot answer more in depth questions about why this may or may not be the case for you.

We all have some built in accelerometer too. I don’t wake up at all when I go to sleep in a car, but as soon they slow down I wake right up. Everyone else I know does this too.

The first night effect. Half your brain stays on when you sleep in a new location (the car isn’t new but your surroundings are)

Basically the change in speed/inertia triggers you to wake up. If you’ve ever seen Inception, it has a similar concept. The “kick” in the movie is the change in inertia causing them to wake up

Because you’re not really asleep. Especially with bad roads and/or drivers, you’re consciously trying to keep your body from being thrown around by the little motions the car is making.

In general, sleeping somewhere unfamiliar to your regular ‘bedroom’ (including hotels, cars etc.) your brain only switches half off. The other half is alert to potential danger. Over time your brain decides your new ‘bedroom’ is safe enough to switch off the other half of your brain and you can sleep normally.

Whenever I fall asleep in a car, I can hear conversations, the radio and such. But whatever they are talking about is completely changed to what my mind makes up. Anyone else experience this ?