The long-term practices are to get a good, healthy diet; sleep on a regular schedule, at least 7 hours a night (or day, if you work the graveyard shift); and exercise regularly to stay physically fit.
The short-term practices are more detailed. And we can all take a hint from truck drivers, who are experts in driving long distances and staying awake.
Underlying both the short-term and long-term practices is judicious use of caffeine. If you rely too much on caffeine, one study finds , you run the risk of crashing. For truckers who get a good, healthy amount of caffeine, another study found , they can avoid crashes and save lives.
Truckers have a way to help save their lives and the lives of others: caffeine. A 2013 study found that truckers who consume caffeine are 63% less likely to crash . The American Association for the Advancement of Science writes:
Long distance commercial drivers who consume caffeinated substances such as coffee or energy drinks, to stay awake while driving, are significantly less likely to crash than those who do not, even though they drive longer distances and sleep less, finds a study published today on bmj.com.