The long hauls can feel never ending and before you know it, road fatigue sets in. Your eyes feel heavy and it’s impossible to concentrate and be as alert as you need to be. Driving while fatigued is not only difficult, it’s simply unsafe. Find the right balance between being productive and efficient while keeping your focus with these five tips for staying awake and staying alive on the road.
Make Sleep Non-negotiable
When the safety of you and those around you on the road is on the line, getting an adequate amount of rest isn’t a luxury – it needs to be a top priority. Aim to sleep for seven-to-nine hours each night. You likely have an idea of when you tend to hit a lull (a certain time of day or drive duration) so schedule in times to take quick naps before then.
Fuel Your Body
Your diet plays a major role in how much energy you have. Sugar may be the go-to quick fix meal for staying awake, but the major spike in energy is usually followed by a crash that leaves you feeling more fatigued than before. Aim to eat balanced, healthy meals with protein, carbohydrates, and a bit of fat to keep your body fueled and regulated. And of course, don’t forget your fruits and vegetables.
Caffeinate with Caution
Caffeine is a staple for most drivers, but relying on it for a long-term solution can be detrimental to alertness on the road. Just like sugar, caffeine gives you a temporary surge in energy that brings with it the inevitable crash when it wears off. To make caffeine effective without the drowsiness that comes after, limit your servings and try to drink them steadily over time to maintain a constant level.
Maintain a Slightly Cooler Temperature
Warm temperatures can make you feel comfortable … a little too comfortable sometimes. That cozy feeling that warmth brings won’t be helpful if you’re trying to stay awake. When you feel your alertness fade, try lowering the temperature in your truck for a while. The bit of cold will wake you up and help you focus.
Take an Active Break
Not all breaks are created equally – some energize you, while others can make it even harder to get back on the road. To make your break refresh you, go for a brisk walk and get moving. It may seem counterintuitive using up your limited energy, but taking an active break will get your blood pumping and make you feel more energized once you get back behind the wheel.
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