When you drive for a living and work long shifts or the night, it might seem impossible to feel 100% alert with every route you take. But hauling truckloads that are thousands and thousands of pounds is a serious responsibility. So, its essential to address drowsiness or fatigue for both your sake and the safety of motorists you drive alongside.
When you are low on rest, you risk falling asleep behind the wheel. But you can increase your awareness by reviewing and changing your daily habits. Plus, learning how to manage sudden or chronic fatigue just might save your career and life.
One of the first ways to manage drowsiness is to not miss a night of sleep. This means if you do have to work overnights, you take necessary steps to adjust your sleep schedule and rest up during the day. Remember that no matter when you get your sleep, between 7 and 9 hours is ideal for any adult.
Besides getting regular sleep, there are other daily habits you can adjust to prevent drowsiness. You can increase your alertness through the day and make way for uninterrupted sleep by:
- Having your last cigarette or alcoholic beverage well before bedtime
- Limiting light exposure during the day with sunglasses if you will be sleeping at night
- Using artificial light to mimic daylight if you will be driving through the night
- Eating on a schedule, and opting for several small meals instead of a few heavy ones
- Taking naps during the day, but for no longer than 45 minutes
- Stopping your caffeine consumption six hours before you plan on sleeping
As you work through adjusting your habits, you still may face fatigue at times. When you feel extremely sleepy, you should pull off the road and consider a nap or caffeine. And if you feel like you lead a healthy lifestyle, tried every trick in the book and still face frequent fatigue on the road, it’s worth consulting a medical professional. There is a range of sleeping disorders you might be suffering from and not even know.
When you come across a closed road, you take a detour to do your job. But creating a work-around solution when it comes to sleeping problems is not a good idea when drowsiness makes your daily work dangerous.