Our bodies are designed to keep in rhythm. Our habits, patterns, and surrounding environments help us stay in rhythm, maximizing our general efficiency. Constant changes and erratic sleep schedules can disrupt this rhythm, making it difficult to rest and function at full capacity.
For many truck drivers, this is an ongoing struggle. The trucking industry is 24/7/365. Hours can vary depending on routes, and your environment can regularly change.
Does that mean maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is impossible for a truck driver? Some would say yes, but the truth is, it can depend largely on what type of driving you’re doing and who you are working for.
Another factor is how proactive you are about taking care of your body so it is able to rest. You might not always have control over what time you’re driving or where you’re heading to, but there are actions you can take to sleep better.
Here are a few tips
Cut Off Caffeine, Sugar, and Other Stimulants Before Bed
While a cup of coffee or a candy bar might help keep you alert on the road, they can have adverse effects on your sleep. Caffeine and other stimulants can stay in your system for about 4-6 hours. Be mindful of when you plan on going to bed. Time out the food and beverages you consume accordingly.
Sometimes, you need the coffee. Other times, you realize you’re simply drinking it out of habit. Try switching to water when it’s nearing bedtime.
Cigarettes and spicy foods can affect sleep as well, so watch out for those.
Don’t Rely on Sleeping Medications
Sleeping medicine like NyQuil is designed to be taken for limited periods of time when you’re experiencing sickness. Taken long term, these products can have adverse side affects on your body. Additionally, they can make you groggy in the morning, hindering your body’s ability to function.
Even natural supplements like melatonin should be taken cautiously.
Watch Out for Blue Light
Blue light affects our body’s ability to create melatonin, which in turn, affects how you sleep. These days, we most commonly encounter blue light through phone, computer, and TV screens. As you’re nearing bedtime, put the phone away.
Alternatively, most phones and computers now have a night mode that turns down the blue light in your screen. You can also get special glasses that filter out blue light, protecting your eyes and helping you become sleepy.
Do you ever attempt to read a book, only to quickly find yourself falling asleep? Perfect! Reading can actually help your mind relax and get your body ready for bed. On top of that, reading is good for your brain as a whole.
Work for a Company That Values Consistency and Home Time
As we said before, your sleep schedule as a trucker can depend largely on who you’re working for. At Woodruff Enterprises, we place a special emphasis on keeping our drivers close to home as much as possible. In addition to paid time off and quality at home time, our primary service area is within a 500-mile radius, so you’re never too far gone.
Typically, our drivers are out one night, and then back home the next.
If you’re looking for consistent mileage, no touch freight, and quality resting time, contact Woodruff Enterprises today. We have trucking jobs available in Baltimore, Chicago, Charlotte, and more!