October 31, 2023

Trucking Life: Keeping an Eye on Your Sleep

On November 5, at 2:00 a.m. sharp, you’ll get an extra hour of sleep. We all love that extra hour, but don’t let yourself get too comfortable. Your body needs time to adjust to a new schedule, which can take a few days. Then, in the spring, you’ll have to change your clocks again—including your body clock—and lose an hour, with another adjustment period.

While the extra hour will help you feel well-rested, it’s a “must” that you get enough rest every day or night to complete your CRST routes safely. Check out our blog “Sleep Tips for Truckers: Fall Asleep Quick & Easy While on the Road.” Also, consider these trucking life tips for handling fatigue:

• Avoid heavy meals or overdoing it at mealtime. Experts say, “This can cause drowsiness because of the body’s increased workload of trying to digest the food. This can use up energy and cause you to fall asleep.”

• Avoid fried foods, carbohydrates, or anything with sugar—they are unhealthy and can make you feel exhausted quickly. That’s because your blood sugar levels will spike and then drop, leading to fatigue.

• Drink plenty of water. If you eat a large meal without drinking enough water throughout the day, you can become dehydrated, which can creep up on you without knowing it. So be sure you’re getting enough water throughout the day, every day.

• The Texas Department of Insurance says to “take breaks every two hours or 100 miles. Get out of the vehicle on a break and walk, jog, or stretch. Keep the driver’s area cool and well-ventilated. Vary driving speeds.”

• Keep your environment stimulating. Reduce the truck’s temperature and make it a bit cold if necessary. Keep the volume up on the radio, change radio stations often, and avoid soft, slow music. This will help keep you alert.

These truck driver hacks can be just what you need to make your trips more manageable and enjoyable. Whenever in doubt as to whether you’ve had enough sleep, stop and rest.