A good night’s sleep does more for you than merely making you feel well-rested the following day. It improves your health by boosting your immune system and makes you smarter by improving your memory, learning capacity, and creativity. It also makes you less prone to feeling stress, anxiety, and depression. People who consistently get 7 or 8 hours of sleep live longer than the chronically sleep deprived.
While this is all well and good, many commercial or owner operator truck drivers have problems falling asleep in their rigs. The reasons may be because of the stress of their work or other problems. Drivers new to trucking may find it difficult falling asleep in a truck surrounded by idling trucks at a rest stop. Sometimes there is no reason that the driver can place his finger on other than he gets insomnia when trying to sleep in his truck.
Here are three tips for sleeping better in your rig:
Set up a Good Sleeping Environment
People sleep best in a dark and quiet room at a comfortable temperature. Do your best to turn your truck sleeper into your bedroom away from home. That means blocking out light with curtains, truck shades, or wearing a sleep mask. Reduce the noise levels by parking your truck away from other trucks and either using ear plugs or a white noise generator. Adjust the temperature somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees F. That’s the temperature that requires a blanket for staying warm. Finally, you can’t sleep well on a lousy mattress. If it’s uncomfortable, replace it.
Have a Pre-Sleep Routine
This routine includes things you do and don’t do before going to bed. Don’t do anything that will excite or stimulate you in either a good or bad way. This means not getting into arguments, not exercising before going to bed, and staying away from television or a computer. Avoid eating spicy food, large meals, drinking alcohol, or too much fluids. Eating a small snack can help.
Try doing something slightly boring such as reading a book on a topic you aren’t especially passionate about. When your eyes start to droop, it’s time to turn off the lights. When you have figured out your routine, stick to it and do it at the same time every evening. After a while, your mind and body will be conditioned to fall asleep simply by doing your routine. It’s like self-hypnosis.
Do Aerobic Exercise
Not only does this improve your health, it reduces stress levels that may be interfering with your sleep. A physically fit body is very machine-like in that it “wants” to sleep a set amount of time every night and will fall asleep at a consistent time in the evening.