The life of a truck driver has a lot of perks, but long drives can make it tough to stay awake and attentive as consistently as you should. Since this is a prevalent problem in the industry, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, many truck drivers and CDL schools provide plenty of tips on how to keep yourself alert while you’re on the road. Here’s a closer look at some of the most important strategies.
5 Ways for Truck Drivers to Stay Sharp
1. Take Care of Your Health
It’s tempting to eat the tastiest and most convenient foods and skip sleep, but that reduces your body’s energy levels. Avoid sugar, carbs, trans fats, and high amounts of caffeine. Instead, focus on fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and protein bars, and stay hydrated with water. Get enough sleep to feel rested, and squeeze a small nap into your schedule between stops, too.
2. Make Time to Move
Let yourself pull over, stretch your legs, and take a short walk when you start getting tired to kick-start your blood flow. You can inspect the truck and trailer while you’re at it.
Also, get into the habit of exercising at a gym or playing sports whenever you have time since being in good physical shape gives you more energy in general.
3. Distract Yourself
Find a healthy snack you enjoy and eat it continuously to stay occupied, and open the window occasionally to let the fresh, cool air jolt you into wakefulness. You can even bother yourself by pinching or smacking your arms, making irritating noises, or sticking your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Keep in mind, though, that if you feel the need to try these tactics, it’s time to pull over for a bit and have a power nap.
4. Get in a Happy Mood
Sometimes, nothing gives you a boost of energy like simply feeling good. Turn on music you love and sing along. Listen to audiobooks in genres that interest you; the constant need to know what happens next in a story will keep your mind engaged. There are also several fun podcasts or radio shows to enjoy, some of which are even made specifically for truck drivers.
5. Bring Some Company
Have another truck driver or just a friend or relative accompany you on long hauls. The opportunity for conversation can keep your mind alert. If your companion has earned their own CDL, work out a system for switching places so that you both have a chance to rest.
Based in Medina, OH, the Hamrick School will help you prepare to become a truck driver who has no problem remaining alert and responsible on the road. With over 30 years of experience providing CDL classes to more than 10,000 students, they’ll teach you everything you need to know to excel in the industry while taking care of your health. They also offer a variety of CDL programs throughout the year, scheduled both night and day, to accommodate your busy life. Find out details about their classes by calling (330) 239-2229 or learn about the admissions process online.
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