Most truck drivers know how exhausting driving can be. They also know how dangerous driving while tired is and will try anything to avoid exhaustion while on the road. Often times the things we reach for to keep us awake can actually create more damage later, leaving you feeling even more tired than you were to start with. Making small daily changes will help keep you awake and alert while out on the road.
Stay alert, nap when necessary
To start with, listen to your body. If you can feel a wave of exhaustion coming on, listen to it. Pulling off the road for a quick nap is an easy way to revive yourself with energy to complete a long haul trip. While you may not think you have time, getting in a few bursts of exercise throughout the day can result in prolonged energy. You don’t have to do it all at once, doing 10 minutes of exercise three to six times throughout the day will keep your blood flowing and keep your brain alert.
Protein rich foods
Another commonly overlooked factor that can leave you feeling drowsy is what you eat. Eating a large and heavy meal can result in you feeling like you need a nap, even when you aren’t really tired. Having a quick protein filled snack can give you the burst of energy you need to stay awake. Pay attention to the foods that you eat and make healthy decisions whenever possible. Stocking up on healthy meals and snacks will allow you to skip the fast food and will result in you feeling better and feeling more energized.
Check for sleep apnea
One common issue that often goes undiagnosed in the trucking industry is sleep apnea. Often times truckers are more likely to have sleep apnea due to the lifestyle that comes along with the job. A simple at home sleep study can be used to determine if you have sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea you will find that treatment with a CPAP machine is easy, affordable and effective. You can even choose between getting equipment out of pocket or through your insurance plan. Many truckers on CPAP therapy have found that they are getting better sleep and feeling more energized throughout the day.
Bottom line: never drive while drowsy!
No matter what the cause, never stay on the road when you’re feeling exhausted. Avoid having too much caffeine — this can result in an energy drop once the effects wear off. Take care of yourself by exercising, making healthy food decisions and by seeking testing and treatment for sleep apnea. Contact Aeroflow Industrial Clinics to complete a free sleep apnea screening and take your health into your hands today.