Professional truck drivers know that one of the hardest parts of the job is staying alert and awake during 10-hour shifts. The roads can go straight for miles, and the constant speed of the vehicle can lull you to sleep. Gleaning from truck driver attorneys in Washington, truck drivers have an increased risk of getting into road accidents. If you want to stay safe, keep yourself as alert as possible during these long commutes.
1. Use a sleep-tracking app
It’s easy to say that everyone should get eight hours of sleep every night. It’s not so easy if your schedule is not regular. If you have frequent night shifts, you might have difficulty getting the required hours of sleep during the day. This is because your body clock is not used to these unnatural sleep patterns.
You can help stay on schedule by using a sleep-tracking app. This will give you notifications and alerts about when to put away your devices before bed and let you know if your sleep schedule needs adjustments. You can compare your weeks and see how small changes reflect on your overall sleep pattern. These apps use your movement to track how much real sleep you are getting and help identify whether you are waking up in the middle of your sleep.
2. Schedule regular breaks
You can also use the alarm function on your phone to schedule regular pit stops. It’s important to take breaks while driving. While the only places available on the highway happen to be fast-food restaurants, try not to load up on sugary food as this can cause you to have a sugar rush. You might start feeling even more sluggish than before.
Eat healthy food while you are on the road, such as proteins and salads. A caffeine bar is an excellent choice when you get hungry. Instead of having a snack, try to utilize the breaks by walking around the parking lot or getting some stretching done. This will keep your back and leg muscles healthy, and you won’t suffer from the back pain that afflicts many truckers.
3. Don’t rely on caffeine
Plenty of everyday commuters are used to drinking coffee whenever they hit the road. While some people cannot function without coffee, it’s a bad idea to overdo it. Some people who have grown heavily dependent on coffee sometimes replace the drinks with caffeine pills to reduce bathroom breaks.
Too much caffeine can impact the duration and quality of sleep. Instead of an over-reliance on caffeine, try to stay up by doing activities such as talking on the phone, singing, or chewing gum. Even if you drink the occasional cup, don’t do it near the end of your shift. Doing so will keep you from going to sleep straight away when you get home.
Remember, safety is your priority when driving. Even if you need more time to get your goods delivered, you need to put your health above everything else. Follow these pointers to stay alert during long drives.