Sleeping is one of the vital needs of every human being. It affects the general health as well as most of the daily activities. Sleeping is the only true rest because it regenerates the body and the mind, and gets us ready for a fresh start. However, in the trucking business where many hours are spent on the road, getting enough sleep is far from easy.
Although regulations are put in place to guarantee enough resting hours for truck drivers, many of them find it hard to use this time for getting adequate sleep. FMCSA regulates this area primarily for safety reasons but the general well-being of drivers is also affected.
The lack of quality sleep can lead to:
- Feeling nervous and being easily irritated
- Slower reaction time
- Difficulties with memory
- Lack of focus
- The weakening of the immune system
- Increased appetite and obesity
There are also many chronic conditions associated with sleep deprivation. These are:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
Luckily, there are ways to improve the sleeping conditions inside the truck. Eliminating factors such as too much light, unwanted sounds, vibrations, odors, and others is often a good way to enable a better sleeping atmosphere. Not all of these methods work equally well for each individual but they are definitely worth trying.
Light is the number one enemy of sleep. To create a sleeping-friendly environment try to block out as much light as you can from your cabin. Make full use of all the curtains and, if necessary, cover the windshield as well (sun shade is a good idea). A sleeping mask is a good option too if you are not bothered by wearing it.
The so-called blue light, the one that comes from the screens of smartphones and computers is also associated with poor sleeping. Do your best to avoid long exposure to it at least an hour before sleeping.
The sound is a next major concern. Switching off the sound on your phone and QUALCOMM are the first two logical things to do. Another thing is shutting the sounds coming from the surroundings. Truck parking is normally located near the road so it is very hard to avoid the sounds of other trucks passing by. Try to park to a safe place but as far away as possible from other trucks. Sleeping aids, such as earplugs, are also a good choice.
Unpleasant odors can be a problem too. The only way to combat this is to be careful where you park. Avoid parking next to an idling truck, dumpsters, animal farms, sewage treatment facilities, etc. Last but not least, do the best to prevent bad smells to develop inside your cabin. Keep it clean, remove all the food leftovers and packaging, dump your trash, and maintain a good personal hygiene.
Areas unprotected from wind and the passing by traffic are not good for parking a truck. Vibrations and swaying (movement) caused by these factors can seriously hamper all the attempts of sleeping.
We hope that these tips can help you get a better sleep inside your truck. Remember, your sleep benefits your health and increases your safety as well as the safety of others on the road.