Android iPhone and iPad Self Improvement

How to Stay Awake While Driving with These Anti-Sleep Apps

Kayla Matthews 26-10-2015

While technology-related distractions Don't Text & Drive! 4+ Apps To Keep You Safe On The Road [Android] Using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous. We all know that. This danger is the one thing the smartness of our phones doesn’t really solve – no matter how smart they get, they still... Read More are often the focus of today’s road safety concerns, drowsy driving is just as dangerous. Not only does it inhibit your alertness and focus on the road, it also creates the potential for serious or lethal harm should you fall asleep at the wheel. Lest you think this problem is limited to truck drivers or extreme circumstances, 41 percent of Americans admit to falling asleep while driving at least once in their lives.


Nothing can be a substitute for adequate sleep and regular breaks, but these seven apps will help you maintain alertness during long drives or late night treks home.

If you feel at risk for falling asleep, pull over immediately and take a nap. Approximately 100,000 crashes each year can be attributed to sleepy drivers. Getting there faster is not worth the chance of causing an accident.

Use these apps when you’re tired, but not on the verge of losing consciousness, or when the open road becomes monotonous and you need stimulation.

Anti Drowse (Free, iOS) [No Longer Available]


The function of this app is basic but helpful. At the beginning of your trip 10 Informative & Useful Websites For Planning Fun Road Trips Read More , tell Anti Drowse how many hours you’ll be on the road. The app will make noises at predetermined intervals to keep you awake. This feature is useful because you don’t know when the sounds will go off. Unexpected alarms can be more jolting and increase alertness by creating anticipation in your mind.


There is also a pro version of the app, which offers a greater variety of sounds plus vibrations, and is ad-free.

Download: Anti Drowse iOS (Free) or Anti Drowse Pro ($0.99).

Anti Sleep Driver (Free, Android)

Anti Sleep Driver

Another app that offers simple utility is Anti Sleep Driver. Its premise is that a screen of solid blue light What Is a Blue Light Filter and Which App Works Best? These blue light filter apps for Android will help you get a better night's sleep, even when using your device at night. Read More is just as effective as caffeine to wake you up. This has been proven by multiple studies, and if you gaze at the preview picture you’ll see what they mean.


Of course, you don’t want to look down at your phone’s screen while driving, but this app could help you wake up every time you pull over 10 Effortless Ways To Meet Interesting People While Traveling When traveling, it can often be difficult to meet like-minded, interesting people to spend your days and evenings with. With the right tools and some enthusiasm, it can be an effortless exercise. Read More for gas or a rest stop.

Download: Anti Sleep Driver for Android.

Driver Alarm (Free, iOS)

Driver Alarm

If you’re driving alone, Driver Alarm will perform the duties of a passenger who monitors your eyes for signs of impending sleep. The only catch is that you need to mount your phone on the windshield so it can see your eyes. Make sure you find a place that won’t distract you as you drive. Driver Alarm detects your open eyes. If they close, it immediately sounds a loud alarm to wake you up.


This app could be useful to a solo driver, but also to a car with one or more passengers. If your companions fall asleep while you’re driving, the alarm will also rouse them so they can keep you awake or switch drivers.

Download: Driver Alarm for iOS. [No Longer Available]

Stay Awake Pro ($0.99, iOS)

Stay Awake Pro

This app also provides some of the perks of having a live passenger in the car. You can set up alerts to help you stay awake, but the most useful feature is probably the “Talk to Me” option. A voice named Victoria will ask you to repeat words and if you miss one she’ll wake you up with a loud alarm. This feature is nice because repetition doesn’t require much brainpower, so you shouldn’t feel distracted from driving, just alert enough to stay on the road safely.


Stay Awake Pro also has an interactive touch option, but this clearly would not be safe to use while driving. Use it instead in other scenarios you have trouble staying awake for, such as work meetings.

Download: Stay Awake Pro for iOS ($0.99).

Coffeewake ($0.99, iOS)

coffee wake

This app promises to deliver caffeine-like bursts of vibrations to keep you awake. Put your phone in your pocket while you drive and receive physical jolts of alertness. As an added benefit, keeping your phone out of sight will eliminate distractions.

This feature would be useful for drivers who want to listen to music or talk radio, but also want a second stimulation to help them stay alert. If you’re not listening to anything else, you can add sound to accompany the vibrations for an extra alarm. You also control the frequency of the alarms, which is good because you can tailor the app to suit your individual needs.

Download: Coffeewake for iOS ($0.99).

Stay Awake While Driving (Free, Android)

stay awake while driving

While this app is targeted to drivers, it requires you to hit a reset button at prescheduled intervals. If you don’t hit the button, the app will make noise and use flashing lights to wake you up. Use caution with this app. Tapping a button may not be more distracting than changing radio stations, but if it is, stop using it right away.

A better use for this app might be a passenger who is also sleepy but trying to help the driver stay awake. The passenger could use the app to stay awake, thus keeping the driver alert as well.

Download: Stay Awake While Driving for Android.

Drive Awake (Free, iOS and Android)

drive awake

Drive Awake is similar to the Driver Alarm app in that it detects your eyes for wakefulness and sounds an alarm if they close. However, unlike Driver Alarm, Drive Awake is available on Android as well as IOS. It also includes a secondary feature. The app is created by Café Amazon and will direct you to the nearest branch if your eyes start to close.

Download: Drive Awake for iOS or Android.

What Awesome Road Trip Will You Use One of These Apps On?

Take these apps with you on your next long drive Everything You Need to Prepare for a Long Car Journey or Road Trip I love road trips. Just saying or writing this word sends shivers of excitement down my spine. If you think I’m crazy, it’s probably because you grew up in a country where road trips are... Read More or make them part of your daily commute. When you use them, make sure you always pull over if you feel yourself starting to get sleepy.

Rule No. 1: Stay alert to arrive alive. The Sleep Foundation has a few must-know tips to combat drowsy driving.

Which of these apps will you use on your next trip? If you have used them, how effective are they? Tell us!

Image Credits:exhausted young attractive woman driving by PathDoc via Shutterstock

Related topics: Automotive Technology, Travel.

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  1. Anonymous
    October 28, 2015 at 8:35 am

    As a sleep apnea suffer, I want to remind everyone that the idea of 'pulling over for a nap' is not safe. Sleep apnea means *sleep* causes the problem to worsen unless the sleep apnea is being treated. Typically, that means using a medically prescribed device for sleeping, which usually would not be available in a vehicle.
    In that instance, one of these apps may be the better choice.

  2. Anonymous
    October 26, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Having done quite a lot of night driving while tired, I am rather dubious about the utility of these apps. In fact I think they may be more dangerous than not having them at all and relying of loud music and/or driving with the window open. Firstly, the alarm may startle the driver causing him/her to jerk the wheel and possibly lose control of the car. Secondly, if the alarm is set for an interval of a minute or longer, it is worse than useless. At 60 mph the car travels ONE MILE down the road. Not many people can keep the car on a straight path for that long while asleep, even if the road is straight. Thirdly, having these apps could give a driver a sense of false security.

    When people are tired and get drowsy, they start having micro-sleep episodes of a few seconds. Unless the alarm sounds once a second, which can be very annoying and lead to the driver turning their phone completely off, the driver can blank out for a second or two. At highway speeds, a lot can happen in a second or two. As fatigue worsens, the micro-sleep episodes get longer and longer increasing the danger of something bad occurring.

    Pulling over and grabbing a 15 or 20 minute nap is of immensely more use than relying on a smartphone app.