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6 Alertness Tips For Truck Drivers During All-Night Hauls

Truck drivers find night hauls a unique challenge – staying awake and alert. The open road stretching endlessly makes them tired and becomes more threatening during all-night hauls. Driving Drowsy is a serious safety risk for the driver and everyone on the road. Here are some tips to help truckers stay alert at night and navigate those long hauls safely and efficiently.

1.     Pre-trip power up

You will need to get quality sleep of at least 8 hours before getting behind the steering wheel for an all-night haul. Ensure to follow a consistent sleep schedule, even on your days off to regulate the natural sleep-wake cycle of your body. Eat light before bed because digestion can disrupt your sleep otherwise. Choose light meals rich in protein and complex carbohydrates to gain sustainable energy.

Plan your route for rest stops. Use designated stops with well-maintained facilities to maximize sleep quality during breaks. Invest in blackout curtains for your sleeper can to create a dark environment favourable to sleep.

2.     Hydration

Dehydration disturbs alertness. Even mild dehydration can disturb cognitive function and reaction time. Take sips of water from your reusable water bottle all night. You can have a cup of coffee. Ensure to choose Expedite or Long Haul Road Dog Coffee designed to keep you vigilant all night. Road Dog Coffee Company has a mission to help moving, hardworking Americans keep awake, focused and chase the horizon safely.

3.     Body movement

Sitting for extended periods causes fatigue and muscle stiffness. Schedule regular breaks after every two hours – get down from the truck and move. Light walking and simple stretches can enhance blood circulation and alertness. Park at rest stops with designated walking areas or use parking lot spaces to perform some basic exercises.

4.     Keep your mind engaged.

The quiet hum of the engine and the monotony of open road can push even a seasoned driver into drowsiness. Keep your mind engaged to stay sharp. Audiobooks, podcasts or talk shows on the radio can keep your mind stimulated and fight boredom. Put on your favorite music and sing along loudly, but avoid soothing tunes that can induce sleep.

5.     Proper lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. At night, use the interior lighting of the truck. Keep them sufficiently bright to offset drowsiness, but avoid harsh glare that can cause eye strain. As dawn approaches, open the curtains and allow the natural light to flood within the cab. It helps to suppress the production of melatonin hormone that regulates sleep and naturally wakes your body.

6.     Plan power naps

Power naps are not a substitute for quality sleep but can be a game-changer for truckers. Park at a designated rest stop and set an alarm for 20 to 30 minutes. A short nap can significantly enhance alertness and response time. Prioritize safety over deadlines. Never try to drive when you feel drowsy!

Remember, a well-rested and alert driver is essential for a smooth journey and even keeps roadways safe!

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