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Getting Better Sleep

On the Road

The North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) educates those in the commercial driving industry on:

  • Developing a corporate safety culture to combat driver fatigue
  • Fatigue management
  • Sleep disorders screening and treatment
  • Driver and trip scheduling practices
  • Fatigue management technologies

The NAFMP provides programs on managing driver fatigue for motor carrier executives and managers, commercial drivers, driver spouses and families, safety managers and trainers, freight shippers and receivers, and dispatchers and driver managers.

The CDC provides us with some sleep tips for CMV drivers. Sleep is important for your health and safety on the road. Without enough sleep, you might experience:

  • Slower reactions, a cloudy mind, or a bad mood
  • Weakening of body defenses, increasing your risk for infections, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • Increased appetite, overeating, and obesity

Additional tips from the CDC:

  • Due to the demand of the job, your sleep quality can be affected. Create a bedtime routine with a good sleep environment to improve your sleep.
  • Most drowsy-driving crashes occur during the times of:
    • 4:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.
    • Midnight – 2:00 a.m.
    • 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Create a good sleeping environment
  • Keep safety in mind. Park with a balance of quiet and safety in mind.
  • Block out all light. Close all curtains and truck shades or use an eye mask.
  • Block out all noise. Use ear plugs or “white noise” and silence your phone.
  • Keep your cab temperature cool.
  • Get comfortable. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillow.
  • Avoid these things before bedtime to prepare your body to sleep:
    • Heavy or spicy meals 2–3 hours before bedtime
    • Liquids
    • Caffeine
    • Nicotine and other stimulants
    • Exposure to light from television and electronics
  • Do these things before you go to bed:
    • Let family, friends, and dispatchers know that you are going to sleep and ask them not to disturb you.
    • Follow a relaxing routine at least an hour before bed to signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.

At Home

Having healthy sleep habits improves your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep and improves your sleep quality. Some healthy habits to include are:

  • Keeping a consistent sleep schedule. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
  • Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get 7–8 hours of sleep.
  • Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep after 20 minutes, do a quiet activity in a darker room without using electronics.
  • Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  • Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings.
  • Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime.
  • Exercise and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.