For truck drivers, long shifts and overnights are sort of synonymous with the job, so different methods have become widespread to combat becoming drowsy behind the wheel. However, it’s important to be mindful of those that are truly helpful and ones that are just masking fatigue.
There are healthy ways to combat fatigue and tricks that can lead to a fatal accident. Taking the time to review the ways you try to keep your steam going can help you avoid dangerous tactics, like chugging endless energy drinks, taking long naps or relying on the breeze from an open window to keep you awake.
Not getting a proper amount of sleep will most likely leave you feeling drowsy. Slipping into naps that can last hours long could be a sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep at night and could actually be the reason you can’t fall asleep after a long shift. Instead of getting only a few hours of sleep at night and taking long naps to get by, consider sleeping longer through the night and taking short naps as needed.
Drinking coffee is something many working adults implement to get a jolt of energy. But consuming caffeine in excess to compensate for an irregular sleep schedule can be problematic. This is because after the caffeine wears off, you might feel more sluggish than you were before. Rather than thinking about when and where you will get your next caffeine fix, you can try and rethink your sleeping habits.
Your manager might have given you instruction to push through your shift, even when you don’t feel well-rested, or encourage to cover shifts when you have days off. If any of this rings true, then it’s crucial to think about how you can preserve your well-being while on the clock.
This can include drinking plenty water throughout the day and fitting in some sort of physical activity when you fuel up your truck. Forgetting about hydration can lead to dehydration, and a little bit of exercise can increase your energy level.
Your entire driving routine doesn’t have to change, but simply reevaluating some ways you fight drowsiness can protect you and those around you.