Dealing with fatigue behind the wheel is one of the most common yet difficult challenges any commercial driver will experience during their professional career. Whether it is because of the tight schedules or the hectic routine of being on the road, sleep issues represent a significant problem for the industry. Not getting enough sleep can lead to drug abuse, from caffeine to illegal substances, putting in risk the lives of truck drivers and other drivers altogether. Therefore, we have gathered some useful tips for commercial drivers to sleep better, making the roads safer for everyone on them.
It might sound pretty obvious, but one of the most important tips to keep in mind is simply getting enough sleep before driving, especially when we know we will be on the road for long periods. This way, we can make sure we are well rested and ready to start our next driving session. Also, whenever we are off duty or between periods, sleep whenever you feel tired, regardless of the time. Paying attention to our body will help us get a better sleep when we need it.
Along with getting enough sleep whenever we are off duty or between driving sessions, we also need to remember the importance of napping during our trips. We know that finding the time to nap might be difficult for some, especially when under a tight schedule. However, there is plenty of research showing the benefits of power naps at work that support these necessary breaks. This way, we will feel better when driving and avoid causing a serious accident.
Drowsy driving is another common problem that many commercial drivers need to overcome, especially those who work with overnight deliveries. Many people feel sleepy between midnight and 6 AM, so we should try to avoid driving during these hours if possible. Even when roads may be more available during these hours, we should try to use this time for our breaks if we can.
Many truck drivers are aware of the danger that sleeping pills can represent, especially when we don’t use them carefully. However, there are many other pills and types of medicine that can cause drowsiness, which we should try to avoid as much as we can. Some of these include medications that are for allergies, colds, anxiety, and depression. If we’re in doubt, we should always check the packaging for any kind of label or warning.
Last but not least, one of the best ways to make sure we are sleeping well and getting enough rest is by paying attention to our nutrition. Having a well-balanced and healthy diet can be hard when we are on the road, but we should try to eat regularly, including healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to our diet. If we spend prolonged periods without eating, this will only make us feel more tired, and greasy meals can make it harder for us to sleep well and rest at night.