Truck drivers spend countless hours on the road making pick-ups and deliveries worldwide. The trucking industry is a 24 hour a day / 7 day a week / 365 day a year operation. With the tight deadlines many drivers experience it’s no surprise it’s a constant struggle to get enough sleep. Good sleep is just as important as proper nutrition and exercise, and without enough sleep your body can experience side effects such as slower reaction time or other health conditions such as high blood pressure.
Because trucking is a 24/7 job, it helps to have some sleep routines to help improve your quality of sleep.
- Make your sleep environment as quite and comfortable as possible. Block out light with curtains or truck shades, block out noise with earplugs, keep your cab or bedroom temperature comfortable, and invest in a good mattress and pillow.
- Avoid before bedtime: heavy or spicy meals (2-3 hours before bed), liquids (so you don’t need to get up and use the bathroom), caffeine, Nicotine, and exposure to light from television or electronics-studies show that light from these devices can disturb your sleep.
- Unwind before bed. Driving a truck is a stressful and demanding job. Follow a relaxing routine within an hour or so before bedtime. This will signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
- Do you have a sleep disorder? Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea are more common than many people realize. You should see your doctor if you sleep for 7-9 hours but experience the following – take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, awaken several times during sleep for long periods of time, take frequent naps, or often feel sleepy, especially at inappropriate times.
According to the CDC most drowsy driving crashes or near misses occur during:
4:00 am – 6:00 am
Midnight – 2:00 am
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Use CAUTION when driving at these times.
Whether you are a truck driver yourself, have a loved one who is a truck driver or are a business owner that employs truck drivers, taking or sharing these tips can help someone who makes a living on the road.
Image Source: Adrian Van Leen, RGBStock.com