Truck drivers are among the professionals most likely to have trouble sleeping, for a litany of reasons. The demands of the job, and the health risks that can come with it, often combine to make a good night's sleep difficult, if not impossible. For that reason, it's a good idea for truckers of all experience levels to do what they can to make sure they're in a position to fall asleep as easily as possible each night.
Below are six tips to do just that:
1) Find a safe, quiet spot
Perhaps the most important aspect of getting good sleep is being able to relax knowing you're not likely to deal with any interruptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are many places where drivers may pull over that aren't totally safe or conducive to sleep, but doing a little more to find that perfect spot away from bustling traffic can go a long way toward ensuring a better night's sleep.
2) Block as much light and noise as possible
Along similar lines, if truckers can make sure they're keeping light out of their sleeper berth and reducing the amount of loud noise they hear, that too can help them get to sleep faster and - perhaps more importantly - stay asleep, the CDC advised. Investing in black-out curtains or eye masks, as well as ear-plugs, a white noise machine or something else to cancel out sound will do wonders for their sleep schedules.
3) Cut back on caffeine
It should go without saying that caffeine before bed isn't a good idea, since it's a stimulant that keeps you awake, according to Certedrive. However, truckers may not know that it actually takes hours for caffeine to leave your system, so many experts recommend having your last dose of it - whether in coffee or soda, for instance - in the mid- or late afternoon. That will certainly make it easier to fall asleep.
4) Upgrade your sleep area
Another reason why truckers often have trouble sleeping is that the mattresses, pillows or blankets in their sleeper berths aren't comfortable or have worn down over the years, Ceterdrive added. Investing a few hundred dollars into a comfortable new mattress, memory foam pillows and nice, soft blankets may be something you'll find pays for itself several times over in terms of a better night's sleep.
5) Give yourself some time before bed
It's not a great idea to go right from work to bed, simply because you're not giving your brain enough time to wind down from being quite active, according to Marshall & Sterling, Inc. Taking even a half hour away from the job before you settle in is always a good idea, and so too is avoiding screen time right before bed.
6) Talk to a doctor
If you've made any number of the above changes and still struggle to fall or stay asleep, it might be wise to seek some medical attention, Marshall & Sterling noted. All too many truckers suffer from sleep disorders that can negatively affect their lives, and talking to a doctor might help you identify and address the specific issue.
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