So, the good news is that yesterday marked the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. (Hooray!)
The bad news? It was the one where we lose an hour. [Slaps forehead.]
Now, you can’t always help the exact amount of sleep you get each night. I mean, if you’re like me, you probably would love to get a solid 15-20 hours of shuteye but are never able to. What you can do, though, is try to get a better quality of sleep with the hours you’re given.
With that in mind, let’s look at some ways that truck drivers can get better sleep (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)):
Obviously, the less light that gets to you while you sleep, the better. Blackout curtains are great for keeping your sleeper dark.
Something you may not realize, though, is that exposing your eyes to electronic lights right before bed can have a negative effect on how you sleep, even if you turn them off while you snooze. Try to avoid the glow from cell phones, tablets and the like right before you go to bed.
Food & Drink
What you eat and drink also can affect how you sleep. Eating a big meal before bed is a bad idea, as is eating anything too spicy. If you really, reeeeeally want that giant bucket of Atomic hot wings, you’d better down the last of it at least a few hours before you plan on hitting the hay.
Likewise, caffeine can have an impact on your sleep if you consume it within five hours of bedtime. Just be careful if you’re planning on cutting caffeine from your diet, even partially. Safety is most important and you don’t want to suddenly feel tired behind the wheel. Always, ALWAYS pull over and rest if you can’t safely continue driving.
Oh, and if you think water is OK, you’re only half right. Yes, it’s good for your body, but don’t drink so much of it that you need to use the restroom in the middle of the night.
If you can safely do so, try to avoid parking where there’s a lot of noise, vibrations or other disruptions. Even if you can fall asleep with such disruptions around you, it may affect the quality of your rest if it continues while you’re sleeping.
Also, try to set up your sleeper area itself for optimum sheep counting. In addition to the blackout curtain, keep the temperature at a level where you feel relaxed and invest in a comfortable pillow, blanket and mattress.
Know what else will help you sleep soundly at night? The peace of mind that comes from getting your Class A CDL license through Roadmaster Drivers School!
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises