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Long-Haul Truckers: 7 Tips to Stay Awake

Driving long distances, even if just for a family road trip, can be quite taxing. Therefore, having to take such long drives for a living can really do a number on you if you don’t have the proper accommodations. If you are new to the trucking industry and having trouble staying awake on your route, here are some tips to help you out.

1. Get Proper Rest

While this should go without saying, many people try to burn the candle at both ends by thinking they can bank on sleep. One of the best things you can do in order to stay up while driving is to make sure you are well-rested before your trip. The best way to do this is to form good sleeping habits by making a schedule and sticking to it. 

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Unbeknownst to many people, drinking water can give you the proper boost of energy and alertness that you need. When your brain doesn’t have enough oxygen, it can cause you to feel lethargic and sleepy. Drinking water assists in supplying oxygen to the brain and helps to eliminate your need for energy drinks, which can cause jitters and other side effects.

3. Eat Small Meals Often

If you eat food that is too heavy or you become too full, you might find yourself starting to become sleepy afterward. This sleepiness is partly because your body uses energy to breakdown your food. Therefore, the more you consume, the harder it is to digest. If you want to satisfy your hunger while maintaining your alertness and energy, try eating smaller meals that are healthy such as the following: 

  • Leafy green salads
  • Bananas 
  • Fatty fish like tuna

4. Minimize Your Caffeine Intake

Drinking coffee or soda is often one of the go-to methods for staying awake that many truck drivers use. However, this can backfire on you, as sugary drinks like soda can give you a quick rush, only to cause you to crash later on. You do not want to be in the middle of a long drive when that sugar rush comes down, so try not to consume too many of these types of beverages. 

5. Stop When You Have To

Of course, you want to take a break whenever you feel yourself becoming tired. One of the worst things you could do is to try to push through the lethargy and end up falling asleep at the wheel. Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of car accidents every year. Source:

6. Entertain Yourself

Whether you like to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, et cetera, you can use your favorite pastime to help you stay up while on the road. Just make sure you are listening to something that is stimulating, so you can stay alert during your trip.

7. Get Moving

Whenever you do stop for a rest, rather than simply go to sleep or get out and use the restroom, try doing a few simple exercises. These can help to increase your blood circulation, the amount of oxygen to your brain, and increase your energy. Just a light jog around the rest area is a great way to help you stay alert during your trip while maintaining your health at the same time. 

Bottom Line

Whether you are a new driver or a seasoned pro, anyone can fall asleep behind the wheel if they are not careful. Make sure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, so you can be fully alert before taking your trip. While short naps can help to get you through, they aren’t a substitute for a proper good night’s rest. 

By setting and keeping a sleep schedule, eating properly, and more, you can increase your safety on every trip. If involved in a truck accident, you should seek the immediate help of a specialized lawyer.