Tips for Getting Better Sleep
On the Road
If you’re sleeping away from home, you know it’s harder to get rest. However, there are a few things you can do to sleep, and feel, better:
* Keep the cab of your truck cool, dark and quiet. If you find it difficult to fall asleep you can even use a sleep mask or a set of earplugs to help.
* Make sure your pillow and mattress are comfortable, even if it means spending extra on an upgrade.
* Do your best to keep a regular sleep schedule. Obviously this can be hard when you’re on the road, but going to sleep at around the same time every day can improve your sleep and your overall health.
* Avoid drinking coffee, tea or energy drinks too late in the day - caffeine can stay in your system for several hours and interfere with your ability to sleep.
* Eat a small snack a little bit before bed, but avoid overeating or eating heavy or spicy food. A bowl of cereal, a small sandwich, some fruit or vegetables or a snack bar are good choices.
* Try not to use the TV, computer, or your phone too much before bed. The bright light from device screens can interfere with your sleep cycle and makes it harder to fall asleep. If you find yourself having trouble sleeping or don’t feel rested after a night’s sleep, ask a doctor if you could have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can prevent you from sleeping well even if you get a full night’s sleep, since it keeps your body from resting properly. It’s also often a precursor to other health problems like heart trouble.
Even when they’re at home some truck drivers have trouble sleeping. Many truck drivers use their limited time at home to enjoy themselves and get things done - but if it’s interfering with your sleep, you might need to make some adjustments in order to stay rested. Here are a few of the best ways to ensure you’re getting enough sleep at home:
*Stick to your schedule. If you build up a sleep schedule that works when you’re out driving, don’t abandon it when you get home. Stick to the same sleep schedule as much as possible.
*Build up a bedtime routine by performing the same actions in the same order every time you go to sleep. Eventually your brain will associate these actions with sleeping and you’ll fall asleep more readily.
*Try to exercise during your free time. Exercising can tire out your body and helps you sleep more restfully. Just don’t overdo it and make yourself sore.
*Again, avoid staying up watching TV or looking at a screen.
Other Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers
*Park somewhere safe when you’re going to go to sleep. Don’t try to sleep on the side of the road or on an on or off-ramp. Except for short naps it’s also usually not a good idea to sleep in a shipping or receiving yard.
*Seasonal allergies can affect your ability to sleep. Make sure you take allergy medication such as antihistamines if you suffer from seasonal allergies, and don’t be afraid to get an allergy test to see what allergens affect you.
*Some sleeper cabs are too cramped or outdated to provide a restful night’s sleep. If you sleep in your cab often you might want to look at upgrading to a nicer model by buying a use truck with a sleeper cab.