An essential part of every truck driver’s life is getting proper sleep and rest. Without it we experience daytime drowsiness, mood changes, stress and anxiety, and loss of productivity.
Did you know that there are two states of sleep?
The Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep stage is the cycle that allows your body to repair and regenerate tissues strengthen the immune system and build bone and muscle. The Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep stage is the cycle that provides energy to brain and body and supports and rejuvenates your daytime performance.
It’s all about quality
The typical adult needs 8 hours of continuous sleep, therefore allowing the body to go through the sleeps cycles 4 times. Some people need more than 8 hours, while other need slightly less. Only you can judge how much sleep you need in order to function through the day properly. We must allow ourselves to cycle through the stages of sleep multiple times to allow our body to restore both physically and mentally.
Sleeping on the road
We all know that a trucker driver’s life is hectic and that there can be many disturbances to your sleep pattern and the quality of sleep you get in a night. Try some of these easy remedies to help you get the sleep you need.
Avoid the things that keep you awake
Drinking items high in caffeine, eating foods that contain a large amount of sugar, watching TV, playing video games, and drinking too much liquid before going to bed are all things that can keep you awake at night. Instead, take this time to relax. Get into the bunk, read a book or just lay there and enjoy the quiet.
Block out the noise
Sudden loud noises can wake even the deepest of sleepers. Let’s face it; truck stops are not the quietest of places. An interrupted sleep can leave you feeling like you haven’t slept at all. Using a pair of soundproof earplugs will block out the noise around you and let you have an uninterrupted night of sleep. It may be uncomfortable at first, but give yourself some time to adjust to it. An alternative to this is listening to white noise. You can invest in a white noise machine, listen to a static channel on the radio, or purchase white noise tracks on the internet.
Take a nap
Most truck driver’s feel that they don’t have time to grab a nap during the day. If you’re tired during the day a quick 15 to 30 minute nap can be enough to recharge the old battery and keep you going for the rest of the day. Even if you can’t fall asleep, taking the time to enjoy some down time and relax can be enough to keep you going.