Getting enough sleep as a truck driver is important for two major reasons. First, numerous studies have shown that poor sleeping habits raise your risk for serious health concerns, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Second, drowsiness while driving can also increase your risk of an accident on the road, endangering yourself and other drivers.
Plan Your Stops
As a truck driver, part of your job is planning out your route and the stops you will make along the way. Before setting out, know where you’re going to stop for the night and how long it should take you to get there. Once you’ve made your schedule, stick to it even if you’re feeling awake. You might not be so alert by the time you reach the next available place to get some rest.
Shift Your Schedule
Because parking spots at truck stops and rest areas can fill up quickly, it’s best to stop early to ensure you can beat the rush. If you stop in the late afternoon or early evening, you can get back on the road in the early morning. This strategy can not only ensure that you’ll have a place to stop for the night, but that you can avoid traffic by passing through cities long before rush hour hits.
Treat Sleep Disorders
Sleeping disorders, such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea, can affect your ability to get a restful night’s sleep even if you’re stopping for eight hours of rest. Seeking treatment for these conditions can help you to achieve the restful sleep you need to maintain good health and mental alertness. If you suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about treatment options for healthier sleep.
You can get more advice for a healthy trucking career from your experienced instructors at HDS Truck Driving Institute. Call us today at (877) 205-2141 for more details on admissions to our CDL school. We also invite you to check out our blog for more tips on truck driver health.