You’re exhausted from a full day of driving. Your eyes are starting to droop, but you’ve got places to be, loads to deliver, and miles to go until you can park your truck for the day. So, you have a drink of cold water, turn up the volume, and keep on trucking.
Every driver has been there at some point – and probably more times than he or she can remember. Drowsy driving is extremely common among long haul drivers due to long hours and an increasing pressure to meet deadlines. However, fatigued driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road – so today, we’re giving you seven simple, yet effective, ways to stay awake and alert behind the wheel:
1. Fix your sleep schedule.
As drivers, it can be difficult to get in the groove with a regular sleep schedule – but you can at least give it a shot. Getting on a regular schedule results in better sleep every night. Here are a few ways to get better sleep on the road.
2. Pull over and take a power nap.
Pulling over and taking a small break might help give you the energy you need to complete your day. Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to. Even a 20-minute power nap should do the trick.
3. Cut down on caffeine and sugary drinks.
Having a coffee or two in the morning can give you a great boost to start your day. However, too much caffeine can have a negative effect on your body. It can take up to six hours for caffeine to leave your bloodstream, so if you drink any caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime, it can affect the quality of your sleep.
4. Take a walk.
Pull over and take a few minutes to walk around or get some stretches in. Sitting for hours on end makes your body tired, so stand up and get moving every so often. If you just took a nap, this is a great way to get your body ready to hit the road again.
5. Stay hydrated.
Dehydration is a fatigue-causer. Drinking water throughout the day can help you to stay more awake and alert.
6. Listen to an audiobook or podcast.
Audiobooks and podcasts are a great way to switch things up from your regular music routine. They’re entertaining and can make your drive go by way faster. From comedy to education to murder mysteries, there’s something for everyone. Pro tip: If you’re concerned about data usage, you can download your podcast episodes when you have WiFi at the truck stop – this way, you can play them on the road without using any of your data.
7. Take your vitamins.
We all know that the profession of driving is not exactly conducive to a healthy lifestyle. There are definitely ways to eat healthy in your truck, though, and maintaining a healthy diet can help you sleep better at night. But if you don’t have the time or ability to do this, taking a few vitamins every morning is a good start. Vitamins B and C are great for boosting energy. (Always consult your doctor about taking any medications, including vitamins.)
With long hours behind the wheel, for days on end, it’s very common for drivers to get tired on the road – but these simple tips can help you stay awake. As always, though, listen to what your body is telling you. If you are exhausted and starting to get drowsy, pull over and take some time to rest – it’s safer for you and everyone around you.