Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers: Before Bedtime
by Apex Capital | July 27, 2016
If you read our previous post about sleep, you now know why getting restful sleep is really important, and you’ve tried our tips to get good sleep on the road. Now, we have some more tips for truck drivers to get more restful sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Higginbotham are sharing their dos and don’ts to help you get deep, recharging sleep when you’re on the road.
Try to avoid:
- Heavy or spicy meals: Spicy food can raise the body’s core temperature and give you heartburn, which can lead to poor sleep quality. So avoid these foods two to three hours before bed.
- Liquids, especially alcohol: If you don’t want to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, avoid drinking liquids several hours before you plan to go to sleep. Although alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, it can reduce the amount of slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you get. These are responsible for helping your mind and body repair and restore. Without them, your body can’t rest or recharge to get you ready for tomorrow.
- Caffeine: Caffeine can keep your body ‘up’ for five hours or more after you have it. So make sure you stop drinking coffee, soda, tea or eating caffeine-rich foods, like chocolate, several hours before you plan to sleep.
- Nicotine: When you use tobacco products that contain nicotine, you’re putting a stimulant into your bloodstream. This can keep you up during the night and prevent you from falling asleep. If you must smoke, try to cut back and have fewer cigarettes four hours before bed, and none 30-45 minutes before bed.
- Electronics: The light from your television, smartphone, tablet, or computer can confuse your brain into thinking it’s daytime, which can mess up your circadian rhythm and disturb your sleep. So put away these devices when you’re trying to fall asleep.
- Tell others when you plan to sleep: Since a truck driver’s schedule can vary, tell your family, friends, and dispatchers when you plan on sleeping. Ask them to not call or text you during this time, unless it’s an emergency, so you won’t be accidentally woken up.
- Downshift: Driving a truck is a stressful, demanding job, so follow a relaxing routine an hour or more before bedtime to downshift your mind. This will signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Sticking to a routine where you brush your teeth, wash your face and get undressed for bed will also help you relax and fall asleep.
Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?
Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and insomnia, are more common than you might realize. See your doctor if you spend seven to nine hours in bed but:
- You consistently take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- You consistently wake up several times during sleep or for long periods
- You take frequent naps
- You often feel sleepy, especially at off times.
Having a sleep disorder doesn’t have to mean going out of service. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers this guide with simple changes you can try, which may lessen your symptoms.
Does cash flow keep you up at night? Let us show you how our factoring services, fuel card program, free load board and other advantages can help you keep more money in your trucking company. Get in touch with Apex Capital today call 1-855-369-2739 or get started here.