Staying Awake on the Road

There are so many great reasons to become a professional truck driver, but the job can have irregular schedules. One week you may be driving exclusively during the day, while another you may be transporting goods throughout the entire night. The good news is that truck drivers get a healthy dose of paid time off in most jobs, but that doesn’t exactly help when you’re tired and on the road in the middle of the night. Fortunately, there are more than a few things drivers can do to stay alert throughout the entire night into the morning.

While it may seem like an obvious answer, you should always bring along a caffeinated beverage if you aren’t fully awake. If you need to, stop at a rest stop or gas station and get something to wake you up. However, many caffeinated beverages like soda can be unhealthy, especially if you drink them in large doses. Instead, try to stick with things like black coffee that don’t have any negative health effects. Of course, it is possible to drink too much caffeine, which is also something you should avoid late at night. If your body becomes too caffeinated, you may begin feeling jittery, nervous, or anxious, which can make it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. You likely know what your own caffeine limit is, so just don’t go overboard when you’re tricking to stay awake.

In addition to drinking caffeine, eating food can have an effect on how tired you feel. If you didn’t have enough to eat in the day, your body is likely low on calories which it needs to stay active and alert. If you plan on being in your truck for a long period of time and you didn’t have time to eat before you left, make sure you bring along some food with you. Just make sure your snacks are something that is easy to eat while keeping your hands on the wheel. You’re not going to want to try to eat a messy sandwich while you’re driving a truck in the middle of the night. Of course, eating too much can be a problem as well. Just think about what you feel like after eating Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of eating one or two huge meals a day, you should strive to 3-5 smaller ones. This will ensure you have bursts of energy throughout the day rather than your body trying to digest an enormous amount of food at once.

Driver Resting against TruckWhile all of your focus should be at the task at hand, it can be easy to become sleepy if you’re already tired and doing nothing but staring at the road ahead. In order to give your mind something additional to concentrate on, you can turn on the radio. Listening to music or a specific talk show can keep you occupied and alert. Of course, if you’re trying to listen to your CB radio, music, talk shows, and more, not only can it be dangerous, but it can be exhausting on your mind. So, don’t try to listen to so much that you tired yourself out. Just choose one to focus on if you need to recover from a bout of sleepiness.

If you’re actually starting to nod off, you really need to get off the road. Sure, you never want a delivery to be late, but it’s not worth risking your life and the lives of other drivers on the road. In most areas of the country, you shouldn’t have to drive to far to find a rest stop or some area of the road where you can pull off. Try to take a short nap in order to regain some energy, but just don’t remember to sleep too long. Taking long naps can actually make you feel more tired when you wake up. In fact, many studies suggest that quick 15 minute naps can actually give you a huge burst of energy. You can set an alarm on your phone or watch to ensure you don’t sleep too long, and just remember to park somewhere safe before you doze off in your truck.

Please keep in mind that these suggestions are just a few of the ways that can keep you alert while on the road. If you’re having significant problems staying awake at night, you might not be getting enough sleep prior to going into work. Driving a truck while you’re tired can be incredibly dangerous, so it is your responsibility to be awake and alert any time you start a shift. Of course, everyone feels a bit sleepy now and then on the road, so don’t be afraid to take these suggestions in order to get the job done.

For any other suggestions regarding life on the road and our trucking services, contact SPEED Global today.