Truck drivers represent a horribly undervalued segment of the U.S. workforce. As a repair shop, we have a unique understanding of this as we work with commercial drivers on a daily basis. However, the vast majority of people don’t realize just how difficult it can be to be out on the road. In addition to the stress of driving, traffic and weather conditions, and tight deadlines, there are other factors working against drivers. Sleep deprivation is one of these, and it’s a huge concern. Use the tips below to help you stay alert and keep your eyes open during those long hauls.
- Take a quick nap – Even just a short nap of 30 minutes to an hour can help you recharge for a long trip. Power naps, as they’re called, provide your body with crucial rest, keeping you more alert while driving. These can also be done during your haul – just pull over and grab a quick nap whenever you feel fatigue taking over.
- Eat right – Healthy eating can go a long way in keeping you alert, too. It’s easy to pick up fast food or something from a convenience store, but these foods are high in fat, sugar and salt, which will make you more tired. Eating a meal of whole grains and lean protein with some fruits and vegetables will keep you going longer.
- Take vitamins – Round out a good diet by taking supplemental vitamins. Vitamins B and C are energy boosters, and keeping these in your diet will help you fight the z’s during your trip.
- Get out and move – If you feel a wave of sleepiness start to take over, pull over and get out to stretch your legs. Walk around, do a couple jumping jacks or some stretches – whatever it takes to get your blood flowing and your brain more alert.
- Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine will also help you stay more alert. While caffeinated drinks will temporarily perk you up, you’ll come crashing down and feel even more tired before long. Staying hydrated with water will help keep fatigue at bay.