When it comes to being a truck driver, staying alert is a critical skill. Unfortunately, getting appropriate rest as a trucker can be difficult. Truck drivers who are not well-rested are more likely to drive erratically or fail to notice important cues from other drivers on the road. This significantly raises the risk of an accident, so it’s important for truckers to employ some tactics to get better sleep on the road.
One of the more significant problems when it comes to sleeping on the road is noise. The outside world is going to continue to move even while you’re asleep, and this puts truck drivers at risk of being interrupted, robbing them of restful sleep.
There’s an app for that. White noise apps, or phone apps that are tailored to help people sleep by playing gentle sounds, are a great option for drowning out the noise coming from outside your truck and maintaining a relaxed mental state. These apps are an easy way to get more restful sleep. You can also load up a nighttime Spotify playlist, either of your own design or a premade.
Comfortable earplugs. Another way to negate the sound coming from outside is to invest in some comfortable earplugs that you can wear while you sleep. This can be a little more difficult for side sleepers, but it can provide the necessary soundproofing to keep unwelcome noise out of your ears.
Your sleeping area needs to be set up for successful sleep. Some important items include:
A good mattress. A quality mattress that is the right firmness for your needs is the first step in achieving better sleep, even while you’re on the road.
An appropriate comforter. Make sure you have several blankets and comforters available so that you will always have one that is appropriate for the temperature. You will want a lighter blanket for the summer months when your truck may get warm, while you’ll need a thicker comforter for the cold winter months.
Some insulation. Add some insulation in your sleeping area to keep the cold out and foster a much more comfortable space with a more stable temperature. A sleeping space that gets too hot or too cold will be very uncomfortable, and it can make it difficult to get uninterrupted sleep.
The right pillow. Find the best pillow for you. A pillow that does not support your head properly won’t only cause problems with your sleep, but it could also cause you to experience neck pain and stiffness that won’t do you any favors when you have to drive.
Set up a routine. Routines are great for getting your brain into “the sleep zone.” By doing the same thing every night, you will eventually train your mind and body to recognize these behaviors and prepare for restful sleep.
Set the phone aside. Mobile phones emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. If you’re on your phone right before bed, you will struggle to get to sleep.
Stretch. It is not recommended to do a workout right before bed—this will wind you up, now wind you down. However, it can be very beneficial to practice yoga or do some stretches before bed. This helps to relax your body, which in turn relaxes your mind.
Take a hot shower. Taking a hot shower on the road is not always the easiest thing to do, but if it’s an option, work it into the beginning of your nightly routine. The heat will help to relax your muscles and nerves, leaving you feeling more calm and ready for rest.
Keep a journal. Journaling is known to be good for the mind, it allows you to get any pent-up thoughts out onto paper. Mobile journaling apps are a great resource, but they’re not good right before you sleep due to the blue light, so consider going analog with your journaling instead.
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