One of the many challenges an over-the-road truck driver faces is getting quality sleep while they are on the road. As an OTR trucker, sleeping in your semi-truck is something you will have to get used to. If getting sufficient sleep is an issue for you, try out some of our tips to help you sleep better while on the road.
Tip #1 – Find a Safe Spot to Park
The first step in getting a good night’s sleep as an OTR trucker is finding a safe place to park. Before you leave on a trip, plan your stops for the night ahead of time, and pre-pay for parking if necessary. Well-lit truck stops or rest areas are the safest places for truckers to sleep. Parking on the side of the road or on a ramp is a safety hazard and could result in a ticket.
Tip #2 – Eliminate Any Distractions
Light and noise coming into your truck from outside can make it very difficult to fall asleep. To keep light out, try using a visor shade to cover up your windshield and curtains for the windows. If the light is still bothering you, wear a face mask. Eliminating sound is best done by parking away from other trucks, especially those with reefer motors or live animal loads. You can also invest in a white noise machine. Wearing earplugs should be a last resort because it is important to still be aware of your surroundings if you’re parked in an unfamiliar area.
Tip #3 – Invest In A Good Mattress
Having a comfortable mattress is a crucial component of good sleep, especially when you are sleeping in your vehicle. While high-quality mattresses can be expensive, they are an investment in yourself and your well-being. They will pay for themselves after just a few nights of quality sleep. You can also add a mattress topper for extra comfort. Along with your mattress, pillows, sheets, and comforters can also make a big difference in getting restful sleep.
Tip #4 – Cut Back On Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeinated beverages like coffee, energy drinks, and soda are popular among long-haul truckers. However, drinking too much caffeine during the day can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Try to avoid caffeine within five hours of when you want to go to sleep. This will also cut down the number of trips you take to the bathroom throughout the night.
Tip #5 – Create a Sleep Routine
Despite the varying schedule of an OTR trucker, you can still benefit from having a routine to complete every time before you go to bed. A bedtime routine can help your body understand it is time to fall asleep even if your schedule changes. Pre-bed rituals can be as simple as brushing your teeth or meditating. Replacing screen time with a different activity, such as reading a book or listening to music, will also help prepare your body for sleep.
Earn Your CDL Today
If you want to be a truck driver and join an essential part of our nation’s economy, consider attending Phoenix Truck Driving School. Once you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) with us, you can choose which career path you want to pursue, whether it’s OTR, local, or regional.