Fatigue is a common problem that every truck driver will face, and in serious cases, it can cause major accidents. If you’re considering CDL training, knowing how and when to sleep will help prevent drowsy driving and keep you and others on the road safer. Here are a few tips for sleeping better while you’re on the job.
5 Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers
1. Sleep on Your Time Off
All truck drivers receive a waiting period after each trip, so take advantage of these breaks. There may be instances when your work schedule won’t allow for full nights of sleep, in which case you should get as much rest as possible between trips. Catching up on sleep whenever you can will make you less likely to get drowsy during driving sessions.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy, alert, and energized. You may not always have time to prepare your meals, but try to purchase more wholesome snacks and dishes on the road. Fill your diet with lean proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Avoid greasy, heavy meals, especially right before sleeping.
3. Create an Ideal Sleep Space
If your environment isn’t optimized for slumber, falling asleep will be a challenge. Creating the perfect sleeping space will allow you to doze off faster and stay asleep. Block out all light and noise with tools like curtains, eye masks, and earplugs. Set your cab to a comfortable temperature and replace old and worn mattresses.
4. Wind Down Before Bed
Setting up a wind-down routine signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. During this period, hold off on caffeine, nicotine, filling foods, and light-emitting electronics. These will keep your body and mind up longer. Instead, give yourself about an hour of relaxing activities like meditating, reading books, and washing up.
5. Stop & Take Naps
No schedule is worth the risk of an accident. If you feel yourself starting to doze off, pull over at the next safest location to take a nap. A short nap of under an hour will give you the energy you need to continue. Shortcuts like blasting music and drinking coffee aren’t as effective as you might think, so give yourself a much-needed break.
If you want more advice for becoming a safer, more prepared truck driver, join a CDL program at Hamrick School. Located in Medina, OH, this truck driving school provides the comprehensive curriculum, personalized instruction, and behind-the-wheel training you’ll need to excel in your career. Their experienced instructors are committed to preparing you fully for the CDL exam. For admissions information, call (330) 239-2229 or visit their website.
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