Being a truck driver means to know very well about messed up sleeping schedules and long days spent by the wheel. Â You get money for how much you work no matter if you are paid by the hour or by the mile. But it is so hard to stay awake and alert sometimes after all the tiresome driving and no proper rest. You have to know the ways to help you stay awake and be more productive, as well as drive safer.
The first piece of advice we can give you is to avoid too much contrast at night because it will make your eyes tired pretty fast. Instead, you can use the soft red light for the interior of your cab and turn the dashboard lights down but make sure there are bright enough for you to see the gauges. Also make sure not to look at the headlight of the oncoming traffic.
Another thing that can help you is staying calm. We all have bad days sometimes. Some things just make us angry creating an emotional reaction. What you have to do is learn to let it go. Anger will wear you off and you will feel tired quicker. It also goes to being over excited. Yes, it is without a doubt a good feeling, but you have to be in control of it.
Remember not to push yourself. Do your best not to get to being exhausted before you can take some rest. The more exhausted you are when you go to sleep, the less awake you will feel when it’s time to get up.
You can also try keep your cab a bit cool. When it is warm, it will more likely make you sleepy. If it is a bit chilly, the temperature will keep you more alert.
Be conscious about the radio. Both silence and music or talk shows can become tiring after a while, so turn your radio off and back on to make sure it doesn’t make you sleepy.
Same goes to coffee. A cup of coffee is a good thing every once in a while, you know it will make you feel good. But go easy on caffeine and energy drinks, it is bad for your health and also will make you feel more tired as a result.
Make sure you eat enough but don’t overeat. You probably know the feeling when you stuff yourself and all you want to do is go to bed and close your eyes.
Get out of your truck as frequently as you can. Take a walk or exercise a bit, get your heart pumping. Constant sitting is good neither for your health nor your alertness.
And of course, don’t forget to sleep! Taking a half an hour nap can make a huge difference and help you be awake much longer. But the main thing: working hard as you do, make sure you still get proper hours of sleep and that you rest well. There is no alternative for sleep, even with all the tricks to keep you awake.
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More than 70 percent of all our freight is shipped by truck, so you can imagine what this means for those whose job is keeping an eye on the roads and their hands upon the wheel. The utility of these commercial driver tips on how to stay awake and alert on the long haul is that they also make sense for non-commercial drivers who may be taking a vacation by car or traveling interstate to see distant relatives or friends. It is not always how far you drive, but how well you drive far.
Great advice to stay awake during the long haul. I remember reading or watching a news report that tired drivers are almost as bad as drunk drivers, and I do see an update about once a month or so regarding a driver who fell asleep at the wheel and caused an accident. I think this is something every truck driver and automobile driver who is planning a long trip should take into consideration and take steps to avoid. I especially like the get up and move advice. When I’m on a trip to Florida from Arkansas, which usually takes 14 hours, I stop at every rest stop just to walk around, and when I gas up. It may not always be practical for a truck driver to pull over every time they enter a new state, since time constraints may apply to them, but it’s good advice none the less.
Napping is a very good habit that should be enjoyed very often, not only for truck drivers, but in general as well!
I can’t imagine myself skipping one on daily basis .. If it happens I make it up for myself the next day a longer one 🙂
Thank you for advising about those energy drinks.. They are not only make you tired , they are loaded with chemicals and ingredients that is not good for health on the long term!
You have posted useful good tips , I hope lot of truck drivers read them and make them as a habits , so they will remain healthy and enjoy thier driving.