Tips for Better Sleep While on the Road as a Truck Driver
Can’t sleep while traveling? It’s hard enough as it is to get the right amount of sleep as a modern adult, then factor in the endless hours of being out on the road as a truck driver. So how can you possibly get quality sleep in order to stay alert and focused when on the move? We’ve gathered some of our favorite sleeping tips for truck drivers to help ensure a good night’s rest wherever you are on your route!
Park your truck in an area that’s both quiet and safe
Safety is always ALWAYS our #1 priority at Warrior Logistics. Ideally, you’ll be able to find available space to park at a truck stop or rest stop that is well lit yet secluded enough to not be too noisy for you about an hour or so before your body typically needs to start winding down to sleep. If all these conditions are not available to you at once, we recommend that you of course prioritize safety first.
Meditate before bed
It’s hard to sleep anywhere if you’re still feeling stressed and cognitively active when it’s time to snooze. Meditation is a proven method for relaxation that can be done literally anywhere. It can even help you improve your focus and mental clarity during the day by helping to combat anxiety and naturally lower blood pressure. Never meditated before? There are many apps, podcasts, and resources for a guided meditation to get you started. The Headspace app and The Mindful Minute podcast are some of our favorites!
Block out all light
Making your sleeping quarters as dark as possible will help encourage your body’s natural production of melatonin. Blackout all incoming light as best as possible with a sunshade at your windshield, all truck shades are drawn, and a mask covering your eyes. Curtains can be made of material specifically designed for blocking out any light, especially helpful for truck drivers who drive at night and thus need to sleep during the daytime.
Use earplugs or a “white noise” machine to block out noises
If you are not able to find a quiet space to park your truck overnight, invest in a quality pack of foam earplugs or a white noise source such as a fan to help create a peaceful environment. Just make sure not to forget to set your alarm at a volume loud enough to keep you from oversleeping in the morning!
Be mindful of timing naps and caffeine
While caffeine can be a very useful tool when you’re needing a little help getting through a day of driving, be wary of its often lasting effects. Take note of your particular sensitivities to caffeine. If you’re not sure of yours, remember that it can stay in your system five or more hours, so start tracking by planning not to consume coffee or caffeinated tea and sodas for at least six hours leading up to when you intend to fall asleep for the night and adjust from there!
Other great drink options that contain no caffeine to enjoy are:
- Carbonated water with flavoring
- Ginger ale
- Decaf coffee
- Good ol’ fashioned still water
But what about how to get just a quick sleep in? If an occasional nap helps you stay focused and safe during your drive, do your best to keep them to only 30 to 40 minutes at a time. That way, you’ll ease your fatigue but not impact your body’s regulated signals for bedtime later on in your route.
Maintain posture while driving
Easier said than done, we know! But keeping our bodies healthy during the drive starts a healthy cycle that supports easier sleep when it’s time for resting. If you need a little extra help in achieving good posture while in the driver’s seat, consider adding a supportive lumbar pillow or more ergonomically designed seat cushions. Many of these products come with a massage option these days, too!