Truckers don't always have it easy when it comes to getting a good night's sleep - and unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that contribute to this reality. For that reason, it's critical for truckers to do all they can to maximize the amount (and quality) of sleep they get.
The following changes to your routine could help you do just that and, consequently, live a happier and more productive life behind the wheel:
1) Try to sleep at a regular time
Maybe the easiest way to get to sleep - and stay that way - is to make your body accustomed to your daily schedule, according to Smart Trucking. If you can go even a few days in a row of getting to bed around 10 p.m., your body will settle into that rhythm and allow you to start "powering down" around that time on an ongoing basis. The more you do this, the easier it is to fall asleep at your preferred time.
2) Invest in high-quality bedding
When you're trying to settle down in your sleeper berth, you have a lower chance of success if your mattress pad is uncomfortable, your pillow is lumpy and your blanket is scratchy, Smart Trucking noted. For that reason, putting even $100 into better sleep gear - including light and heavy blankets that you can change with the temperature - will pay for itself in added comfort and better sleep many times over.
3) Park in a dark, quiet spot if you can
One of the biggest complaints truckers have when they pull over for the night is their chosen spot is too noisy or bright to get adequate sleep, according to All Truck Jobs. Sometimes that's unavoidable. However, if you park as far away from light and traffic as you can, the benefit will be substantial. If this is a persistent problem, you might also want to buy a sleep mask or blackout curtains to keep the light out as much as possible, and ear plugs to block the noise.
4) Keep close tabs on your cab's temperature
As the seasons change, so do the ambient temperatures, humidity and other factors, All Truck Jobs added. These will all make it more difficult to sleep if you're not responsive. In addition to simply having heavier or lighter blankets and sleep wear, it's also a good idea to have a fan or small space heater in your cab to help you stay as comfortable as you can.
5) Don't load up on caffeine and sugar
While you might think you need to drink coffee or soda throughout the day to stay alert, all those beverages will make it more difficult to get to sleep, according to Fleet Owner. As such, even if you really do need that morning coffee to get going each day, you should stop consuming these kinds of drinks (and sugary snacks) in the afternoon.
6) Plan ahead
The more you know about your route in advance, the easier it is to plan where you'll eat, fuel up and sleep, Fleet Owner cautioned. A little homework will help you ensure you're not getting to your destination too early or too late to turn in at your normal time.
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