How do semi truck drivers sleep at night?

truck parked

When you’re a semi-truck driver, chances are you’ll live a different type of lifestyle. Depending on the type of fleet and schedule you have, you might be away from home for a number of nights throughout the week. While sleeping on the road might seem difficult, it’s best to implement a few key tips in order to sleep soundly while you’re on the road.

Sleeper Cab

When a semi-truck driver does overnight drives where they will be sleeping, their cab is typically outfitted with what is called a sleeper cab. These typically have a bed and refrigerator. However, there are bigger and fancier sleeper cabs that have a full kitchenette, TV, and even lounging space. The sleeper space is most often accessed right behind the driving area so that they can get in and out of the sleeper cab without needing to go outside. This enables the driver to not only avoid the weather outside, it can also be safer for the driver so they don’t have to be on the street. These sleeper cabs also have storage space so that the drivers can have enough clothing and gear to get them through the entire trip.

Ear Plugs/Eye Mask

Most drivers will install window coverings at night to minimize the light and help insulate the truck. However, if there’s a window in your sleeping area, even one that is covered, you will still likely get flashes of bright lights from other truck drivers. The same holds true for drivers who opt to park and sleep during the day. In order to block out any distractions, consider wearing an eye mask. There are a lot of eye mask models that come fairly cheap, however, since you’ll be using it every night, it’s ideal to get one that will be comfortable and blackout your surroundings.

In order to prevent sounds from interrupting peaceful slumber, use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones that are designed for sleep are a good investment. The sound may be a bigger culprit to interrupted sleep when it comes to semi-truck drivers compared to any other interruptions. Street noises, engines turning on and off, and even screeching breaks can prevent you from having a sound sleep. If you haven’t had much success with earplugs, then it may be worth getting sleep headphones that play white noise to both block out sound and drown out the noises common in a truck stop or the side of a highway.

Safety Precautions

Prior to driving a semi-truck, you are required to take training for a Class A driver’s license. Typically, in your Class A CDL Driver Training, you’ll learn about the safety precautions to take when you’re taking time to rest in your vehicle. Instructions regarding securing the truck, locking it, and parking in appropriate areas help you to eliminate the fear of falling asleep in the middle of nowhere. Additionally, you may be instructed on getting in and out of the sleeper cab to prevent any issues related to sleeping on the side of the highway. However, as you head on the road and gain more experience, sleeping on the road will feel like second nature.

Electronics Elimination

In order to sleep well at night, it’s recommended to turn off the electronics an hour before bed. This can be incredibly challenging considering that you probably just spent the last day driving and you want to relax to a TV show or movie that you brought with you. However, when the electronics with screens are running, it’s harder for the mind to relax and fall asleep. This is due to the blue light that electronics tend to emit. However, make sure the truck is on and filled with enough fuel. In order to remain warm or cool (depending on the season), the truck might need to remain running.

Extra Padding

Many semi-trucks come with padding for the sleeping quarters. The padding isn’t always the most comfortable. In order to experience maximum comfort, invest in your own mattress pads. By layering in more plush options, it’ll be much easier to feel as though you’re sleeping on a cloud. Consider investing in high-quality linens to make the experience more comfortable as well.

When you’re on the road, sleep is paramount. This is especially key because you’re handling an extremely large vehicle on the road. Without enough rest, you increase your chances of crashing, potential fatalities, and more. Take your sleep regimen seriously in order to remain alert, healthy, and present once you get behind the wheel of a semi-truck. In addition to safety on the road, this will also help with mental health on long trips.

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