How to Stay Awake While Driving
Spending hours on the road can be taxing for even the most experienced truck drivers. Long drives can be monotonous and this can easily lead to drowsy driving. Recent studies have shown that driving tired can be highly dangerous, and so it is important find ways to remain vigilant behind the wheel. If you find yourself frequently yawning, drifting into another lane, or straining to keep your eyes open, there are ways to help give you energy and stay awake. Here are some ways to help stay awake while driving:
Use your muscles
Moving and flexing muscles will help keep your body and mind alert. One creative tip is to eat sunflower seeds. Using your jaw muscles to bite open each seed and spit them out will help keep you active. Another way to use your muscles is by taking a break and stretching out your body. Try gentle stretches for your arms, shoulders, back, and legs. This should keep you from getting stiff, as well as allow you to breathe deeply and increase the supply of oxygen to your body.
Get some fresh air
Step outside your truck for a second and get a breath of fresh air. If you can't afford to stop, then try rolling down a window. Wind and cool temperatures can keep your body from relaxing too much. During warm months you can turn on the air conditioner. Cold temperatures will help give you the awareness needed to finish a long trip.
Listen to music
Turn on the radio for a change of pace. Listen to something fast and exciting, or a tune that you can sing along to. This will stimulate your brain, improve your mood, and help you pass the time. Try CD’s that have different changes in rhythm and tempo, and vary the music from time to time.
Take care of yourself
Most importantly, you need to take care of your mind and body before a long drive. Try to get 8 hours of sleep, and take short naps in the middle of a trip. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body will slow down and you might not be able to recover. Also, try to drive during the day when the sun is up, or when you feel most alert. Remember to always pack a few healthy snacks to provide your body energy, and stay away from products with too much caffeine or sugar. If you do feel too tired to drive, be sure to pull over and take a break. Always remember that nothing is more important than your safety.
What are your techniques to stay awake while driving? Let us know in the comments below!