When falling asleep in a backseat of the car, Why do we always wake up at the very last turn before you arrive at your house?

When falling asleep in a backseat of the car, Why do we always wake up at the very last turn before you arrive at your house?

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  1. Two reasons – you’re probably half awake not fully asleep. The “where am I?” subroutine in your brain is still processing and is active enough to realize you’re close to home and send the “wake up!” signal to your brain. If you were fully asleep, you wouldn’t wake up just because you’re home.

    Also, assuming you’re on a trip long enough to fall asleep on, you’re probably spending most of the time on major roads, which are long, straight and smooth. The final 5 miles are probably in neighborhoods that have stop signs, traffic lights, and turns and bumps. So you’re getting jostled around enough to wake up.

  2. Same reason you wake up when people shake you. The approach to your residence has more frequent turns (I have five within a mile) than the straighter, smoother portion of the trip that allowed you to doze off in the first place. Then, once you crack your eyes and recognize how close you are, you wake up in preparation for exiting the vehicle vs. fall back asleep, as you probably would if you realized you weren’t getting out any time soon.

  3. It’s because highway driving is relatively smooth. The smoothness is easier to sleep in. When you get off the highway close to home there are intersections and turns that jolt you around. It seems like you wake right when you get home because of the difference in movement.

  4. Because you’ve been traveling the speed limit (or higher) but the car has to slow down, if not stop, to make the turn. The change in movement wakes you up.

  5. Your body has a natural home toilet sensor in it. Whenever the sensor is within range of your personal toilet, it triggers certain functions of the body, which is *probably* why you wake up.

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