If you’ve ever stayed up for an extended period of time, you know how it can affect your brain and body. Your mind becomes foggy, your vision can blur, and overall you’re less alert to the world around you. Driving while exhausted is like driving while intoxicated. You wouldn’t get behind the wheel after a few drinks, so why do it when you’re exhausted? Of course, it’s hard for truckers to avoid driving when their livelihood depends on it. Fortunately, there are a few tips to combat tiredness on those long-haul journeys. To help keep your energy up throughout the day, here are three ways truck drivers can prevent fatigue on the road.
Cut Back on Caffeine
It’s tempting to reach for the coffee or energy drink as soon as you feel yourself getting sleepy. While caffeine is an effective short-term solution to fatigue, it leads to worse long-term issues. Your body builds up a resistance to caffeine over time, which means you’ll need more and more to help you stay awake. At the same time, drinking too much coffee, soda, or other caffeine drinks can dehydrate you or lead to headaches, agitation, insomnia, or other health problems.
Make the Most of Your Breaks
If you have a lot of miles to cover throughout the day, stopping for fifteen minutes can feel like a waste of time. Remember that taking breaks is one of the best ways truck drivers can prevent fatigue on the road. Do your best to stop and get out of your truck a few times a day. Take a walk, do a few small exercises, and enjoy the fresh air. These light activities help get your blood pumping and boost your energy levels. Staying active throughout the day also helps get rid of restlessness, which makes it easier to stay asleep throughout the night.
Optimize Your Sleep Schedule
Speaking of sleep, it’s important to optimize your sleeping routine while on the road. Your schedule may not always allow for a traditional eight hours of sleep every night, so you need to find an alternative routine that works for you. For example, short naps of about 40 minutes can increase your alertness throughout the day. Additionally, one of the ways drivers can sleep better is to make your sleeper cabin more comfortable. Be sure to experiment with different sleeping patterns and environments to find what feels best for you and your schedule.