Fatigue and lack of adequate sleep are common problems for a lot of people around the world. However, truck drivers are especially susceptible to not getting enough high quality sleep. According to a recent study from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, more than half of all transportation workers suffer from short sleep duration. Since many drivers spend days or even weeks on the road at a time, establishing regular sleep patterns can be especially difficult. This said, having a solid sleep pattern is also extremely important! Beyond being bad for health, drowsiness and fatigue behind the wheel can be very dangerous for everyone on the road. In fact, the main reason that truck drivers are required to follow hours of service regulations is to ensure they have enough time to rest. Regardless of your opinion on these regulations, consider these tips for sleeping in your truck in order to safer behind the wheel.
Tips for Sleeping in Your Truck
Find a Quiet Place to Park
So, we recognize that this is much easier said than done. Given the truck parking shortage facing drivers across the US, finding quiet and safe parking is often fairly difficult. However, to the extent that you are able, try to find a quiet place to park. If you are able to find an empty truck stop, try to park away from all the activity. Since you can’t control what noises people make around you, it’s best to just avoid them.
Block Outside Light
When you are sleeping in your truck, it can be almost impossible to block all outside light. Since you’ll often be parked near a 24-hour truck stop, just because you’re trying to sleep doesn’t mean that everyone else is. However, outside light can be disruptive and make it take a long time to fall asleep. Cover your windows with curtains or shades. If this doesn’t do the trick, it might be worth wearing a sleep mask to bed.
Invest in a High-Quality Mattress Pad
There is no denying that the bed in your truck is probably not as comfortable as the one that you left at home. Yet, there are things that you can do to make it more comfortable. Doing some research to find a high-quality mattress pad can go a long way towards improving your sleep. After all, who could overstate the importance of being comfortable in your cab?
Regulate the Temperature in Your Cab
Whether you’re driving in the winter or the summer, extreme temperatures make it difficult to sleep well. Obviously, you can’t control the weather, but investing in a personal fan or heater for your cab will help. After all, nobody wants to lay awake at night shivering when it’s cold out or sweating when it’s too hot.
Don’t Eat or Drink Too Much Right Before Bed
As a truck driver, you likely have a difficulty finding time to sit down and enjoy a meal. Thus, it may be tempting to eat when you’ve finally shut down the engine for the night. However, eating or drinking too much right before you go to sleep can keep you awake or make you wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour for your digestive system to work its magic before trying to get some rest.
Avoid Screens Immediately Before Going to Sleep
Recently, there has been a push to limit screen time right before going to sleep for everyone, not just truck drivers. While it is not necessarily harmful in and of itself, the blue light that comes from LED screens can make it difficult for you to fall asleep quickly. Since sleeping in your truck is already difficult enough, why make it harder on yourself? By avoiding screens all together for a little while before bed, you may be able to sink into a restful slumber more quickly.
Sleeping in your truck is not always easy but that does not mean that it is unimportant. Be sure to take time to figure out what works for you so that you can be well rested behind the wheel. Alternatively, are you tired of having to sleep in your cab frequently? Not all truck driver jobs require countless nights on the road! Explore truck driver jobs with more home time and flexibility here at AllTruckJobs.com! Do you have any helpful tips for sleeping while on the road? Please share them below!