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10 Healthy Sleeping Tips for Truckers

Sep 10, 2021

As a professional truck driver, getting quality shut-eye every night is crucial in order to prevent fatigued driving. And since truck drivers have one of the busiest schedules out there, it’s important to fall into a deep slumber as quickly as possible so you can maximize the amount of beauty sleep you get!

We all hate laying in bed for hours before we fall asleep, so today I’m going to share a few tips for falling asleep quicker at night.

  1. Count backward from 300 by 3’s. We’ve all heard the old suggestion of counting sheep. Take this theory a step farther by counting backward by 3’s! Not only will it be boring as all get out (causing you to quickly drift off into dreamland), but it will also force you to focus on counting, which keeps your mind from wandering and worrying about today’s stresses, tomorrow’s to-do list, etc.
  2. Block light and sound. This one’s an important one for truck drivers. You can’t always stop at night when it’s dark out. And even when you do, outside noises can prevent you from falling asleep. Block light with special curtains or an eye mask, and pick up some earplugs to mute unwanted sounds.
  3. Progressive muscle relaxation. This really helps me when I’m having difficulties falling asleep. If you feel tense after a day of driving or maybe just can’t get comfortable, try this out! What you do is gradually clench your muscles for 5-10 seconds then release. I start from my toes and work up — left foot, right foot, left calf, right calf, and so on and so forth. By the time you get up to your head, you should feel like a puddle of jello. Sooooo relaxed.
  4. Invest in a white noise machine. There’s a reason those relaxing waterfalls, beach waves, and sounds of rain falling on the roof work. It’s a bit scientific, but the gist of it is that during sleep on a quiet night, any noise, no matter how loud or soft, is likely to activate our brain and wake us up. Constant noise kind of “numbs” your brain so to speak, so that these rogue sounds don’t affect us as much. You can purchase white noise machines (some alarm clocks feature a white noise option too), but there are also CD’s and smartphone apps. I use Relax Melodies sometimes — it’s free! You should also note, that white noise doesn’t have to be something like waterfalls and beach waves — it can be the dull hum of a fan or radio static. White noise can help drown out the sound of a humming reefer unit, people outside talking…whatever.
  5. Hide or get rid of clocks. When you can’t sleep, consistently checking the time does nothing but exacerbate your difficulties falling asleep. You know what I’m talking about — you’ve been trying to fall asleep for an hour. You check the clock and think, “Great. If I fall asleep now I’ll still only get 6 hours of sleep!” Then the pressure to fall asleep SOON causes you to stay awake, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Avoid this by removing or covering up any clocks in your truck. Keep your phone out of your arm’s reach so you don’t keep checking the time.
  6. Have a warm beverage before tea. Milk or relaxing, hot tea can help soothe you and help you wind down for bed. I prefer Sleepytime tea myself. Ahhhh.
  7. Cozy up with a book. If you’re like me, reading will knock you out fast. When I settle into bed at night, I can get through about 5 pages of a book before I’m out like a light.
  8. Put the electronics away. Light exposure from cell phones, TVs, and computers can disrupt body rhythms and suppresses melatonin release. Experts recommend an “electronic curfew” where you quit using these items about an hour before bed.
  9. Avoid caffeine after 2 pm. Did you know it takes about 6 hours for half of the caffeine in your body to be eliminated? Caffeine too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep and cause difficulties drifting off.
  10. Take melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycles. Some people find that taking a melatonin supplement can help them fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper throughout the night.

Posted: Sep 10, 2021

Edited: Oct 08, 2021

10 Healthy Sleeping Tips for Truckers

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