Importance of Getting Sleep For Truck Drivers  

Photo of a truck driver

Sleep is a common issue for most people, but especially for truck drivers and therefore carriers. Getting enough sleep is extremely important in order to stay alert during long trips, especially at night. Getting a good night’s sleep will not only help you stay alert while being on the road but it’s extremely beneficial to your health and wellbeing, that’s why today we want to cover this common topic among truck drivers and carriers alike.  

Sleep is one of the most important natural regulators we have. On one side, it helps calibrate your physical health, level of alertness, mood, and your mental health as well. When drivers don’t get enough quality sleep, they are more likely to suffer the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. This also relates to different cardiovascular issues.  

Having a poor night’s sleep can affect your performance the next day and the day after that. It increases your chances of being more irritable, and more susceptible to the common complications of everyday life. Not sleeping enough can affect your concentration and ability to focus, so you might miss an exit or have more trouble than usual finding your destination.  

These are just a few examples of how much sleep can affect your day and your life in general.  

TIPS FOR BETTER SLEEP: Ideally, you would follow a regular sleeping schedule where you fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. But as truck drivers and carriers, you don’t live in an ideal world, and sometimes, because of your job, it’s nearly impossible to follow that suggestion. So today we are bringing you some tips based on the latest discoveries that can help you have a better night’s sleep, get to sleep quicker, and stay asleep longer. 

Some of these things may surprise you, but here are the latest science-based tips to get better sleep: 

  • View sunlight within 30-60 minutes of waking up. You don’t have to look straight into the sun (please don’t!) but this helps to wake you up and tell your brain and body that it’s time to get going.  
  • Avoid drinking anything with caffeine 8-10 hours before you want to go to sleep. If you drink caffeine within that period, this will affect your sleepiness and you will probably have trouble sleeping.  
  • Try to make sure your sleeping quarters are dark and cool; with blankets you can add or remove as necessary. This will send a signal to your brain, letting it know it’s time to go to sleep.  
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or sleep inducers. Alcohol disrupts your sleep – it helps you fall asleep but not stay asleep, and prevents you from feeling rested the next morning. 
  • Talk to your doctor about some supplements you can take to help with sleep like magnesium. However, avoid taking melatonin as this can disrupt your normal ability to go to sleep.   
  • Have a wind-down routine independent of where you are. Something that you do every night that helps you fall asleep — you can have a worry journal, where you write everything that’s on your mind an hour or so before falling asleep to get all those worries and concerns off your mind; you can also visualize a short walk by the park or beach to relax your body and mind before sleeping.  
  • If you have a short night’s sleep, don’t do anything to compensate for it. Just wait until your normal time to sleep and you will fall asleep again.   
  • If you need to nap at some point during the day, a short 20 to 25-minute nap is ideal. This will keep you awake without impacting your night’s sleep. However, if you have trouble sleeping in general, it’s best to avoid napping altogether.  
  • If you need to stop at any point during your drive because you’re feeling drowsy, you can try an activity that helps you feel rested without necessarily sleeping. This can be as easy as lying down for a few minutes without looking at your phone or using a meditation or relaxation app.  
  • A hot shower can make it a lot easier to go to sleep as well, as long as you take the shower close to your sleeping time.  
  • Avoid any loud noises, if you need to, you can use earplugs or a white noise app to muffle sounds from outside.  

Having a good night’s sleep helps your brain and body reset for the next day. If something stressful happened the previous day, having enough quality sleep can help you reset your mind and start the day with a good attitude.  

Some of the benefits of getting enough sleep are: 

  • You feel more alert the next day 
  • It makes it easier to concentrate and focus on the road and your daily tasks 
  • You have more energy when you wake up and throughout your day 
  • It regulates your mood, which helps you face the day’s challenges with a brighter outlook.  
  • It helps you wake up with a clear mind  
  • It helps regulate your whole body, preventing a number of illnesses and diseases that stem from lack of sleep  

Sleep is one of our most basic needs as humans, and as drivers, it’s even more important to secure a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. We know some of these tips might be new, or might sound counterintuitive, but they are the latest tips and most efficient ones that will help you fall and stay asleep when you need it the most. We hope you find this information useful, and start getting better and better sleep from now on!