Ask any long-haul truck driver about driver fatigue, and you’ve probably heard them tell you about their battle with it behind the wheel. Some try to load up on caffeine, while others blast their music. Regardless of how it’s dealt with, drowsy driving is a big issue and any mistake can be extremely dangerous, if not deadly.
Feeling overly tired while driving is generally a result of not getting enough sleep and many new truck drivers struggle to catch the appropriate amount of sleep on the road. America Truck Driving School has put together a few tips to help you get more sleep and make sure you’re awake and alert on the road:
- Make Your Sleeper Cab as Comfortable as Possible
Most long-distance drivers will have a rig with a sleeper cab to maximize their rest periods. If this is the case for you, do everything you can to make your sleeper cab as comfortable as it can be. Get a mattress topper and soft, supportive pillows that will ease neck and back pain. If you like to sleep in complete darkness, make sure your lights and windows are covered to block out any light. When you invest in your sleeper cab, you will enjoy a better night’s sleep.
- Find Ways to Reduce Heavy Noise
Too much noise is also a deterrent for good sleep, especially when you are in your truck at a rest stop, truck stop or parked along the side of a busy freeway. Do what you can to drown out outside sounds within your sleeper cab. Wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones and consider finding quieter places to park. If you let your truck run idle while you sleep, adjust the RPMs to something quiet. Some truckers even find the low rumble of the engine soothing.
- Don’t Ignore Your Health
Eating healthier and finding ways to get a little exercise throughout your day are major ways to improve sleep. The better you sleep, the healthier you will be. When you do what you can to stay healthy during the day, you will tend to enjoy better sleep at night. Likewise, if you have breathing or other issues, such as sleep apnea, follow your doctor’s advice and wear a CPAP mask, nasal strips or whatever other sleep aids may be recommended.
Never underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. The more you allow your body to regenerate overnight, the more awake and alert you will be during those long drives throughout the day.