Long road trips are boring and mind-numbing. Let’s face it! It’s a fact. Even if you are a hardcore traveling enthusiast or a road-trip lover, the 15-hour trip quickly gets boring after the first 50-70 miles, especially when you have been on that trip for a couple of times and you are too familiar with the scenery and everything along the road. The noise of the engine and tires beating road and the winds continuously flowing into the cabin is the combination of a good deep sleep any time during the trip. Some truck drivers make good friends with the radio to listen to their favorite music to keep themselves awake and interested. However, that is also not an effective method, which quickly gets boring after several days of long trips.
Falling asleep during the trip is very dangerous, not only to the drivers, but also to everyone else on the road and residents living alongside. You may think of pulling over to a truck stop to take a good nap before getting back on track. That’s a great idea for how to beat drowsiness, but not a really practical way since the truck operator company has a strict schedule for freight transportation and they are not very happy with late delivery or slow freight movement. As a long-hour truck driver, you need better ways to fight against sleepiness and keep yourself awake while driving. Here are some signs that tell you it’s time you fight a way to prevent sleeping while driving:
Daydreams, disconnected thoughts and inability to think thoroughly
Difficulty on focusing, continuous blinking and inability to keep eyes wide open
Feeling tired and losing energy, interest, focus on the road
Feeling an irresistible desire to pull over for a good rest/nap
Drifting on the road, tailgating, etc.
Here are some methods that can help you fight against sleepiness and stay awake:
Get enough sleep before the trip
The best way to prevent drowsiness is to get yourself enough sleep before getting on the trip. Make sure you sleep for 6-8 hours before the trip.
Keep your taste buds awake and active
The taste buds in your mouth have some influence on your activeness and mind energy. If you want to stay awake during the trip, you need to eat, bite, munch, or drink something that is strong for the tongue. For example, energy drinks can be a good boost for the mind. Apple, lemon, pineapple, strawberry are some good fruits to eat while on the road and they can keep your taste buds awake.
Sugar drinks may get you active for a while, but soon after the effect wears off, you will feel even more tired than you probably feel without the drinks. So for a better ride, avoid sugar drinks.
Chewing gums are good for the mind since it keeps your mouth active and prevents yawning. The gums also keep the tongue working actively. Many truck drivers have used this trick and it works really well. Make sure you chew the gum continuously even if your jaw gets tired.
Crunch ice/sunflower seeds
Ice is cold and it will keep your teeth and your mouth working all the time to sense the ice. Crunching keeps your mouth working without getting you distracted from the road. Sunflower seeds are good snack for the road. They taste nice and crunching them along the road will keep you awake.
Sing along the radio/music or talk with your co-driver
Keeping a co-driver in the cabin is an extremely good method to keep yourself awake because they will alarm you whenever you drowse off or they can replace you to give you a good rest. Talking to co-drivers will keep you from the boring and mind-numbing road trip. Singing along the music/radio is a good way to let off some steam and keep your mind active for the trip.
Do something that you feel annoying
For example, turn the volume to the maximum and put on the music you hate, scratch yourself, etc. These activities will make you feel annoyed and unable to fall asleep. However, this method is only to help you stay awake while looking for the next truck stop to pull over for a short nap. You cannot just keep scratching yourself or keep the maximum volume for the rest of the trip.
Falling asleep on the road is very dangerous and you need to find a way to keep yourself awake while driving. If you cannot do anything else, pull over and take a short nap. It’s better to arrive late and safe than trying to make it on time and ending up sleeping on the wheel and getting yourself killed. Do you know how to stay awake while driving? Keep your eyes open!