15. Make Your Mouth Busy
If you can find something that would cause you to work at eating it, without being able to use your hands like sun flower seeds. Then this in itself could be the perfect hack to helping any truck driver stay awake.
By keeping your mouth busy, you are actually keeping your mind alert at the same time. Sunflower seeds causes you to think how to eat them, while eating them. Just don’t spit the shells out your window.
Your very likely to have one want to fly back into your vehicle and try to nose dive into your eye. Danger alert.
Other items like chewing gum, maybe a small sucker (remember sugar crash), and stuff like this. Are all items that keep your mouth moving, your mind alert and you focused on the main task at hand.
Driving your semi truck or vehicle on a very long road trip and staying awake for the entire amount of time proceeding closer to your destination.
16. Avoid Binge Eating
A way that you can help yourself, is to avoid binge eating. By having such a large meal all at once, you will quickly remember the days of thanksgiving dinners. You know, everyone eats till stuffed and then a moment later almost everyone is passed out.
Well this can occur the exact same way when eating more than should. I know for me, if I eat way to much. There will only be 1 of 2 things that will occur within the next 30 minutes. I’m either going to pass out or have to use a rest room. This may sound discussing, but the truth of the matter is. There is no way I am the only person on this planet wired this way.
Or maybe I’m just getting old. Anyways, one last way to keep your mouth moving while trying to stay awake. Is very simple, if you have a hands free headset, phone a friend or a someone that you enjoy talking with.
The communication between the 2 of you (or many of you if you do a conference call) could be just enough to help you stay awake long enough. So that you can make it to your destination, or at least to a safe place to park so that you can get a power nap in.
You know your friends and family better than I do. So you would know who would be awake at that particular time, who would be most likely to answer and who maybe wouldn’t.
Having a phone conversation is one of the ways that I help myself stay awake longer. It takes my mind off of being completely bored.
17. A Little Bit Of Coffee Can Go A Long Way
Or you could have a little bit of coffee if you enjoy the taste. Even if you don’t enjoy the taste you could have a little bit of coffee.
This will help stimulate awareness, energy levels and a few other things all at once.
Pro Trucker Hack: Did you know that if you drank a little bit of coffee, then immediately after you drank the little bit of coffee. You take a small power nap of 20 to 30 minutes.
When you awake from your power nap, you will feel like you just had an energy bonus unlike any other. This falls back on the earlier moment where I almost confused myself with the whole double double bonus thing.
Here, same thing. The isn’t really called a “power nap”. The actual terminology that I found was called “Coffee Nap”. Though in my opinion, it should be called a “Holy Trucking Nap”. With a big rig emphasis on the trucking.
One last tip before I move onto the next before I forget. Try to avoid turkey. Seriously, it contains Tryptophan. If your unsure what this is, it is the chemical in turkey that causes drowsiness. This is why thanksgiving dinners end up they way they do.
Or at least end the way they do for me. Which is me passed out somewhere almost drooling on myself.
18. Maybe We Should Crack Open The Window
Now this next one could of been listed up above, but I’m going to toss Cracking a Window Open here in this part of this article. Only because of how I tend to do things on my long drives as a truck driver trying to stay awake.
The moment I crack my window a little bit. Is the moment that tells myself that I need to pull off the highway, find a quick place to park. So that I can get out of the semi truck and do some stretching, maybe some jumping jacks to kick start my energy levels.
I’m the type of person that needs white noise more often then not when driving long distances in a semi truck. This constant sound, mixed with the fresh air. Does I’m not sure what to me, but it greatly helps me to stay awake while on a road trip.
Maybe it’s just a habit of mine, maybe there is a scientific reasoning behind it that I’m unaware of. What I do know, is that it greatly helps me. It helps me regulate at which point I need to give my body a break from sitting for several hours doing nothing but driving.
19. Get Out And Stretch To Kick Start Your Energy Levels
As we get park, then get out of the vehicle after a long amount of time spent behind the wheel. We should try to stretch at least a little. Even if we could do some type of simple exercise.
By doing this we are helping ourselves regain blood circulation. Bringing back to life any stiffness, and replacing the stiffness with flexibility to re-energize the different areas of the body.
20. Get Hydrated
After we regain energy from just getting away from driving for a moment. After doing maybe a little bit of stretching or maybe we did a little bit of exercise.
We need to hydrate. Drink something to hydrate after this and all of this will be like you just acquired a new set of energized batteries. Especially if the drink used is high in electrolytes and is somewhat cold.
21. Let’s Pretend We’re Pregnant
Now this may sound really crazy. Though this hack, can improve your energy levels. What I mean by pretending your pregnant. Isn’t sticking a pillow under your shirt in front of your belly.
Instead, when a woman is pregnant, at some point in the pregnancy she begins to learn breathing techniques. These techniques are learned for a couple of reasons.
One reason is to maintain mental control of the situation when that situation begins to take place. Another is to help them with the pain associated with the labor, or birthing of a child. This process at times can take many hours. While doing the “counting” breathing technique.
Doing this technique for a short period of time can help boost your energy levels temporarily. What it consists of is this; take a deep breath, hold it for a second or few. Then slowly exhale. Repeat this maybe 3 to 7 times. This may just boost your energy enough to get you to a safe place to park to take a power nap.
22. Make A Trip Plan
Before I start a trip in a semi truck. Even though we have GPS’s and all that fun stuff these days. I still make a trip plan. I plan when I’m going to stop to eat, when I’m going to stop for the night and everything in between.
When we do this, we can schedule ourselves in a way that helps us keep optimal awareness, energy levels and all the good things that go along with this. By being able to plan our road trip. We are able to possibly avoid sunrise or sunset. Which can blind us even with sunglasses as we learned from the above.
My trip plan normally consists of, stop at this place for food and use rest room. Which equates to get out of semi truck. Walk around for a little while. Eat something normal in size. Walk back to semi truck. Overall at least 35 minutes have passed before I begin again.
Sometimes on the spur of the moment. I start to feel drowsy, so on my trip plan I also have written down a couple of “just in cases” between my planned stops. Once I get to a just in case parking spot. I’ll drink a little bit of coffee. Then take my happy self to the bunk and do a power nap for about 40 minutes.
Shew do I wake up all kinds of ready to go after that.
23. Know The Danger Zone
We are able to stay out of the Danger Zone, which is normally between midnight and about 6 am. If your unsure why this time frame is called the Danger Zone. Think of when was the last time, you were normally awake on a consistent basis over multiple days maybe even weeks. Between the times of midnight and 6 am.
The human body is programmed to be sleeping during these hours. If not, one key way to point this out, is that we would be equipped with the ability to see in the night without lights or etc. Which I don’t have because I’m not even 10% of any kind of Owl.
By not only avoiding prime problematic time frames, we can also double down on optimal times for traveling by having a trip plan. Even a small simple one is better to have then none.
24. Are We There Yet?
“Are We There Yet?” usually hears a response of “Sit back in your seat and put your seat belt on before I come back there”. Or at least that’s what I heard when I was 8 years old.
Now I’m not saying to bring kids with or not. What I am suggesting is that we all have a annoying friend of some kind. At least one. I had one back in high school, i’ll admit it.
Well bring that friend with you. Because you know they are going to drive you crazy. And if anything, you will be able to keep yourself awake just because you want to get the trip done and over with.
However, don’t let your emotions get all out of whack and go crazy while driving. If that’s the kind of annoying friend you have. Leave them at where ever you found them.
25. Bring A Friend
Instead, bring a friend. Not just any friend, but someone that you can trust. I say this because this kind of friend would be more than happy to drive while you are sleeping.
This friend drives safe, is reliable and knows how to understand a GPS or read a map. This friend will sing along with you when you hear your favorite song.
This friend will also tell you, “Hey, lets find a safe place to park and give you a break.” Instead of “Are you crazy, look at how your driving all over the road and crap!!!”
Now I know a lot of these with in this article I’m writing refer to getting you to a safe place for a power nap. It’s this way, to help you be aware of what may or not work for you. I would rather suggest things to help you, then suggest something that could end up being unsafe and putting anyone in any kind of danger.
So, the best way is to try all of these. Keep the ones that work for you, and discard the ones that don’t. Over time, you’ll learn which ones help you to feel more awake longer than the others. With those others, you’ll know those can be your emergency get you to a power nap safely option.
Just remember, at any time, and at every time. You, yourself are the only person that knows when you are any kind or degree of tired. No matter how tired you are, being tired while driving at any time of day, is never a positive thing.
Keep in mind who is driving the semi truck, or your car. Understand that if your the one driving, only you can control you. Not dispatchers, not your buddy, nobody. Only you can tell yourself or anyone else when you feel unsafe to continue driving.
Some people want to turn to alternatives to keep themselves awake. Myself, I prefer natural ways to do so for a few reasons. My Commercial Driver License (CDL) pays my bills. Pays for me to enjoy time and things when at home. So I wish not put that in any kind of jeopardy. Energy drinks boosters, legal stay awake pills. Illegal drugs and all of these kinds of things. Eventually you crash, one way or another.
All natural and in every aspect you’ll be safe and able to continue your travels day after day. Without worry, stress and any type of side effects.
I hope for the sake of yourself and others, that your travels across the roadways. As either a truck driver or just a regular traveler are of the safest and funnest and full of positive memories.
Use these 25 crazy hacks to help you stay awake and make your day or days of traveling a positive one.
Frequently Asked Trucker Questions:
How Many Feet Does It Take A Semi Truck To Stop?
A 80,000 pound gross weighted semi truck with trailer, traveling at 65 mph with dry weather conditions will come to a stop in 525 feet says Utah Department of Transportation. Which is basically about the length of 2 football fields.
What Does A Semi Truck Driver Call A Truck Stop?
In current times, truck stops are usually called by the name brand of the truck stop. However, just over a decade or so ago, truck stops were referred to as “Choke and Pukes“. To find more fun and crazy trucker lingo, just click on the trucker lingo & cb slang page here .