To me, there’s 2 types of fatigue. The kind when you didn’t sleep well and the kind when you are losing focus.
Both require you pull over.
To overcome a lack of sleep, you need to take a nap. I find usually 30-45 minutes works for me. I just make sure I set my alarm. Energy drinks do not work for. They may perk you up for a bit but then there’s the crash. If you’re not parked by the time the crash happens, you may end up crashing.
Other tiredness, caused by boredom and hunger can usually be resolved by taking a break and going for a walk, grabbing a bite to eat and just focussing on something else other than driving. You know this kind of fatigue because you slept well but can’t stop yawning. I find that a cup of coffee or can of pop may help with this. The sugar and of caffeine help help.
The challenge during this time can be finding a safe place to stop and then getting there.
There’s a number of things I do to give me a boost to keep me alert until I can get to a safe place.
- spray some of favourite cologne. A nice smell makes me feel more alert.
- Listen to a special playlist with motivational songs.
- Raise or lower the chair height and bring it to a more upright position. The change adjusts angles so your body isn’t doing the same repetition. Being upright also subconsciously makes you feel more alert. I also believe that a change is as good as a rest.
- Lower the heat in the cab so that is almost cool air
- Read all the street signs out loud. This also helps to ensure I don’t miss my turn.
- I untwist the cap on a water bottle just a bit and will let a few drops of water fall on head and then I can rub it into my scalp or get a bit of a face wash. It’s not great but it makes me feel a little fresher.
- I do shoulder shrugs. This can be done and doesn’t really break your focus from driving.
- After my beak and I’m ready to go, I change my shoes. Just something to feel different. After all, a change is as good as a rest sometimes.