Being a truck driver, you are often on the road for long hours at a time. Truck drivers often have unpredictable schedules, which affects their sleeping patterns. Long hauls can be dangerous as you run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Remaining awake and alert for long periods is essential to be a safe, productive driver. Here are some tips on staying awake during a long haul.
Get Enough Sleep
The best way to prepare yourself for a long haul is to get a good night’s sleep beforehand. Research suggests that drivers who sleep only five or six hours in 24 hours are twice as likely to cause an accident as those who get more sleep. Also, drowsiness can decrease your situational awareness and slow your reaction time. It’s essential to get as much sleep a possible before you start out on the road each shift. Part of that entails keeping a regular sleep schedule.
Keep the Temperature Cool
If you are feeling drowsy, turn up the air conditioner in your truck, just enough to be slightly uncomfortable. It is harder to fall asleep in cold temperatures, while warmer environments naturally make you sleepy. Crank up the A/C to let the cold wake you up and keep you out of a dangerous situation.
Driving for long hours can have a serious effect on your body. So, it is important to make sure you are staying healthy and hydrated when on the road for the long haul. Be sure to avoid caffeine or anything with a lot of sugar. Keep a chilled water bottle in your truck to avoid dehydration. If you don’t want to drink plain water, you can use caffeine-free fruit flavored water instead.
Eat Healthy Foods
Going through a drive-thru when you’re on the road can be a quick and easy meal option, but fast food usually does not give your body the essential nutrients that it needs. It is a smart idea to avoid foods with lots of sugar and high fat content. Also, eating too many carbs can make you sleepy if you are not already. It is always an excellent choice to go for fruits and vegetables as a healthy snack!
Get Your Body Moving
Sitting in the same position for hours at a time can leave you feeling stiff and sluggish. Even during work hours, you can do some light exercises to keep your body and brain awake. Just taking a short walk or stretching your muscles at the truck stop can fend off drowsiness.
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