If you drive a truck, you know that drowsiness while driving can be an irritating and even dangerous condition. When you struggle with drowsiness, it can be difficult to perform your job safely and with thorough attention to detail. Below are three ways to combat drowsiness while out on the road:
Get all the sleep you need
The most important thing you can do to avoid getting sleepy while driving is to get the appropriate amount of sleep during your downtime. You can't expect to sleep four hours, then drive all day and not get drowsy, for example. Here are some ways to get an ample amount of quality sleep:
- Keep it dark - most people don't sleep as well in the presence of light. Your body generates melatonin, a natural sleep hormone, only when ambient conditions are dark. Even if you don't consciously notice the light, your brain will detect it and reduce melatonin production, thus inhibiting your sleep. Be sure to cover your windows to keep your sleeping quarters pitch black; you can purchase window covers made for your specific make and model from truck suppliers and dealers, or you can fashion coverings yourself from cardboard or cloth.
- Keep it comfortable - people sleep better in a cool environment, so you should always keep your air conditioner running during hot weather and allow plenty of ventilation to flow during cooler times of the year. However, you can't sleep well if you are cold, so always have plenty of blankets around to cover up with during unexpected cold snaps.
- Wake up naturally - using an alarm clock may help you to be punctual, but you are your sleep suffers if you wake up at a preset time on a daily basis. That is why you should always try to sleep until you naturally wake up; if that isn't feasible, try to limit alarm use as much as possible.
Driving a truck offers a lot of challenges, and eating healthy is one of the biggest of them all. If you are on the road, you must make a commitment to eating right; not only will affect your health in many other ways, poor eating habits will also disturb your normal sleep. Here are a few hints on how to eat right for sleep's sake:
- Avoid sugary snacks - your body receives an initial burst of energy shortly after consuming sugar, but as your body generates insulin in response, you will experience a dramatic decrease in alertness. Sugary snacks, such as cookies, soft drinks, and candy, will only cause you to "crash" and end up sleepier than before.
- Eat protein - proteins provide your body with immediate energy that is useful in keeping you alert and functional during driving hours. Protein-laden foods include meats, cheese, eggs, milk, nuts and seeds.
- Don't overeat - eating a large meal before bedtime can help induce a deeper sleep, so you will want to avoid that if you are driving. Staying a little hungry can help you stay awake, too, so save your big meals until you are done for the day.
Drink some caffeine
Caffeine is an age-old remedy for drowsiness; it is a stimulant that can help keep you awake and alert. Research has demonstrated that caffeine, in moderation, is safe for long-term consumption, and it may even offer a few health benefits such as protection from certain types of cancer. However, be sure that you know your limits regarding caffeinated beverages. Some individuals are highly sensitive to caffeine and may experience headache, stomach upset and insomnia as a result of overconsumption.
Many "energy" drinks contain a substantial amount of caffeine and other substances. While there is no consensus on the dangers, if any, posed by these beverages, you should always drink them with caution and in moderation. Some of them contain sugar, and in combination with caffeine, you may experience undesirable side effects or worsened sleep.
To learn more about how you can become a better and safer truck driver, be sure to visit http://www.montustaffing.com/.