Based on their own experiences, many truckers will tell you all about how difficult it can be to get a good night's sleep on the road. Unfortunately, even as it's not always easy to get the full eight hours you need, it is vital to doing the job as safely and effectively as possible.
With that in mind, the following tips should help you get better rest on a nightly basis:
1) Start with a smaller dinner
When you have a big meal a few hours before bed, your body has to work overtime to process all of it, according to Healthy Trucking. That can make it difficult to start to "power down" as bed time approaches. A smaller dinner, with fewer fried or spicy foods, might be the change you need.
2) Don't look at screens before bed
Looking at your phone or laptop for long periods of time before bed can make it more difficult to wind down for the night, Healthy Trucking advised. Instead, experts recommend reading a book or doing another analog activity that won't flood your brain with information - and your eyes with bright light.
3) Try to get on a routine
When you want to start falling asleep more easily, it's important to have a bed time and stick to it, according to Red Birds Nest. A life on the road doesn't always make this easy, but if you're trying to get to sleep by, say, 11 p.m. each night, that sets a rhythm for your body to naturally start getting ready for bed.
4) Don't consume caffeine or sugar too close to bed time
It should go without saying that a cup of coffee or an energy bar - which are intended to help you stay up - can make it more difficult to sleep, Red Birds Nest added. But what you might not realize is how long the effects last. For some people, even a coffee in the early afternoon can keep you up well past your bed time.
5) Don't rely on medications for sleep
Likewise, it's not really a good idea to start relying on various medicines, even natural ones, to set your sleep pattern, Red Birds Nest further noted. Some people take melatonin or other sleeping pills at night to fall asleep, and then caffeine pills or the like each morning to wake back up. But if you do this, you're not going to get the best quality sleep, and may be groggy the next day as well.
6) Change your sleep area
The more you can do to add comfort to your sleeping situation, the better off you will be, according to Thunder Funding. Pay a little more for a better mattress, higher quality pillows or more comfortable blanket to really ensure you fall asleep and stay that way.
7) Invest in the right extras
If you find yourself struggling to fall or stay asleep, because of external stimuli, there are a few changes you can make, Thunder Funding recommended. A sleep mask or blackout curtains so no light disrupts your sleep, or ear plugs to keep away the sound of traffic, will go a long way.
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