Getting a good night’s sleep, much less good quality sleep, while on the road is a challenge for most truck drivers. Drivers making cross-country deliveries have the added difficulty of finding a location to rest, which has become even more challenging due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even when a truck stop is available, it can be difficult to settle down in a sleeper cab during daylight hours with other vehicles coming and going. The following tips can help improve truck drivers’ comfort and quality of sleep while on the road:
- Optimize the location. Finding parking is an ongoing challenge for many truck drivers. However, knowing the options ahead of time can help drivers choose truck stops with parking far from outside traffic. Drivers can also park far away from each other to reduce noise from neighboring vehicles.
- Block out sounds. Truck drivers only have so much control over outside noises. Earplugs are a great way to dull exterior sounds as are white noise machines. Drivers should also make sure to activate the Do Not Disturb setting on their smartphone to avoid sleep disruptions and distractions.
- Turn out the lights. Regular curtains will offer little more than privacy when it comes to sleeping in a truck cab during the day. Investing in blackout curtains/shades or a comfortable eye mask can help make the inside of the sleeper cab as dark as possible for daytime naps.
- Invest in comfort. An old mattress in humid temperatures isn’t conducive to quality sleep. Upgrading to orthopedic pillows, replacing tired mattresses, and buying mattress toppers can improve drivers’ comfort. Drivers should keep their sleeper cab at a cooler temperature to improve sleep quality.
- White noise. White noise can improve relaxation and sleep quality. Some of the white noise sounds that are most popular include ocean waves, rhythmic sounds, the hum of a fan, streams, and underwater sounds.
Drivers that operate on too-little sleep on a regular basis are more likely to experience health problems and safety issues. Without adequate sleep, drivers may notice they struggle with delayed reaction times, deteriorated immune systems, and increased appetites.
Driver health and safety top the list of priorities for many motor carriers. Getting adequate sleep plays a huge role in reducing drivers’ safety risks behind the wheel as well as supporting their health and wellbeing. The experts at Interstate Motor Carriers understand the difficulties many fleets are encountering as drivers continue to make deliveries during COVID-19. Contact us to learn more about reducing risk for your trucking company.