For long-distance truckers, the importance of staying awake while driving cannot be overemphasized, it’s the key to a bright day of an efficient trucker, but at the right time, falling asleep is equally important.
When sleeping in a truck, however, good sleep is hardly achievable but I hope at the end of this article you will have learnt how to get proper sleep in the middle of the distractions that may keep you awake in the truck stops.
“The better you sleep at night, the longer you will be able to go the next day”
Here are five tips on how to get a good night sleep during your break on a long-distance trip and in the comfort of your sleeper cab.
1. Get Comfortable
Bearing in mind, you spend more time in your truck sleeper cab than your own bedroom, you should make sure you have a very comfortable mattress. A comfortable mattress helps you sleep better while avoiding soreness or aches when you wake up- you don’t want to wake up in pain as if you are coming out of the gym.
When it comes to sleep, it’s no pain more gain.
If your boss cannot buy a new mattress for you, you can buy yourself a foam mattress topper, it provides more cushion and reduces pressure points which is immensely beneficial to your body during sleep.
2. Find Tranquillity
Quietness is another factor to a peaceful sleep. If you can, try parking far away from other trucks, especially the refrigerated ones. If the truck stop is situated close to the highway, try to park far away from it to minimise the noise from outside traffic.
Don’t park next to the entry or exit ways, when that inconsiderate Freightliner trucker turns on his jake brake you can lose your chance for a calm sleep.
If tranquillity is not easily achievable for various reasons, then you need to block out the noise.
Invest in earplugs or a “white noise” machine such as a fan to reduce sounds inside your truck.
As for your phone, to some probably the biggest distraction, turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode or set alerts only for important contacts, I am sure your important contacts will know the best times to call you.
We all know how hard it can be to ignore a text or phone call, but those noises and your bright phone screen will only make it harder to sleep.
3. Turn Off and Block All Lights
While curtains come standard with many trucks, there are various reasons that may lead to your truck not having them. Make sure your rig has curtains or shades to cover all windows, a large sunshade over your windshield, and using something to cover any electronic lights within your cab.
Remember that even the smallest amount of light can bother you even when your eyes are closed.
If all fails, then a sleep mask is your last resort. You can get them for a cheap price at the Chinese stores.
4. Develop a Routine
I understand long-distance truckers cannot really predict how their day will be or when they will rest but when you eventually find the time to rest, your body should be able to read the signs so that you easily and quickly go to sleep.
As for me, my childhood prayer to chase monsters from my dreams has developed to be very effective even in my trucking career. After closing my curtains, I kneel down (emphasis on kneeling – not praying in bed) and pray while reflecting on the day before and on my mission ahead. After that, I turn on that tranquil worship music and jump into my bed, that’s it!
Some read a book or watch their favourite show to help them slip into the sleeping gear.
Try your best to maintain a bedtime routine. Your body loves routines and will adjust well when you maintain it.
5. Keep Your Truck Sleeper Cool and Comfortable for You
Make sure the temperature inside your truck is comfortable for you, usually not too cold nor too hot because in between the two is most comfortable.
When it’s hot outside, consider using a small fan for extra airflow. When it’s getting colder, consider getting extra quality blankets or even a small heater in your truck.
It’s actually wise to always have extra bedding regardless of the season because the weather can change anytime and that should not be the reason for not getting a night of quality sleep.
The above five tips for how to sleep better in your truck sleeper will definitely help you discover what works for you as a long-distance trucker. You may have noticed that if you are unable to find success sleeping better in your rig, you may experience bad moods, fatigue and over-eating amongst other risks.
A sleep-deprived truck driver is a danger to himself and other motorists – CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS SLEEP TODAY!