One of the many challenges that comes with being a professional truck driver is the sleep schedule. Adjusting to a different sleep schedule can be difficult. One of the most important things you can do as a truck driver is ensure you are getting enough sleep in order to make sure you are alert while on the road. Here are a few tips and tricks for the best ways to adapt to different sleep schedules.
How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?
According to the CDC an adult needs on average 7 or more hours of sleep a night in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, according to a study performed on long haul truck drivers, many of them only averaged around 5 hours of sleep per night.
Are There Any Rules?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set Hours of Service Regulations that every truck driver is legally required to follow. All drivers may only drive up to 11 hours after they have been off duty for 10 consecutive hours prior. There is a 14 hour time limit which applies to the total timeframe that a driver may operate their commercial truck.
You can’t control the environment you are sleeping in outside your truck but you do have the ability to control some of the environment inside. Creating a comfortable environment that you are able to sleep in will help you adapt to a changing sleep schedule.
Consider investing in a comfortable mattress or memory foam mattress cover, a good quality pillow is also essential to help create a comfortable environment. Bring along whatever you need to stay comfortable and try to ensure you are sleeping in a dark space as this will help you get to sleep faster.
Best Places To Sleep
When you are on the road you need to make sure you find the best and safest places to sleep. Some of the best places to sleep are truck stops and rest areas. You may have to pay to sleep at a truck stop but it is often quieter and safer. Rest stops along the road are also great places to stop – try and find a spot away from the main area for a better night’s sleep.
Skip the Snooze
When your alarm goes off don’t snooze it. We are all guilty of hitting the snooze button and some people even set their alarm clocks so they can hit it once or twice! But falling back into a half awake state is actually doing you more harm than good. It sends your brain mixed signals and often makes you groggier than you would have been if you just woke up.
Manage Your Time
One of the best ways to adapt to a changing sleep schedule is to learn how to manage your time. If you are managing your time well you will create routines and that will help you throughout your day. These routines will set you up for success with not only adapting to whatever sleep schedule you need but also in your career.
Sleep is one of the most important parts of being a truck driver. It is important for you to get enough sleep to help you be safe on the road. Here at FCC, we believe that our drivers safety is a number one priority. Consider driving for FCC today.