Sleep Well

Sleep is important for physical and mental health and wellbeing.

If you drive a truck, especially long haul, there are small actions you can take to get better-quality sleep.

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Sleep impacts every function in your body.

  • During sleep the body removes the physical and emotional tension from your day which reduces stress.
  • Sleep increases energy and improves focus and memory.
  • Sleep reduces stress and protects you against becoming unwell.
  • Good sleep helps you stay healthy and safe on the road.

Want to know more, call 1800 464 327 or email info@healthingear.com.au

Make sleep a priority.

  • Schedule it in your standard logbook, BFM, AFM or in your plan for your day off.

Try to only drink caffeine in the first half of your day.

  • Caffeine is found in drinks like coffee, tea, soft drinks or energy drinks, or in tablets like NoDoz.
  • Caffeine builds up in your body and can stay in your body for up to 12 hours.
  • Caffeine in your body makes it harder to get to sleep and lessens the quality sleep of your sleep – over time, you’ll get more tired.
  • Drinking caffeine earlier in the day with enough time before sleep allows it to work its way out of your body.

Try to include a nap at a rest stop, or while you’re waiting to load or unload.

  • Even a 10-minute nap can make you feel a lot better.
  • A short nap can make you more alert and improve reaction times and clearer thinking.
  • Naps can also reduce your need for caffeine.
  • Try to avoid alcohol close to sleep.
  • Drinking alcohol makes you feel sleepy but it can affect the quality of your sleep and stop your body from healing itself.
  • When you’re asleep and alcohol is in your body, your sleep is littered with small awakenings. Over time, this will make you more and more tired.
  • Try to avoid large amounts of refined sugar or starch close to sleep.
  • Like the effects of alcohol, refined sugar and starch make you feel sleepy at first. However large amounts can interrupt your sleep and stop your body healing itself.

Try to avoid eating big meals close to sleep.

  • Your body sleeps better when your stomach is not too full.
  • Choose a piece of fruit rather than lollies, cake or biscuits if you want something sweet before sleep.

Although regular exercise definitely helps improve sleep quality, try not to do vigorous exercise, such as interval training, close to sleep.

  • Vigorous exercise before bed can affect sleep quality.

Try to stay off technology just before you go to bed. It stimulates your brain and interferes with sleep.

Create a sleep routine.

  • Maintaining a sleep routine sends a signal to your body that it’s time for bed. You could play a song or write in a journal.
  • Use a white noise phone app.
  • Read a book or magazine.
  • Put on an eye mask and ear plugs – some drivers find this helpful!
  • Take a hot shower before bed – this raises your body temperature so when the temperature cools it signals to the body that it’s time for sleep.

Try to make your space really comfortable. Invest in a comfortable mattress, good bedding and pillows. Install shades or curtains to block out light.

Want to know more, call 1800 464 327 or email info@healthingear.com.au

Write down your small wins before sleep.

  • Every time before sleep, write a list of things that have gone well for you during the day and things you are grateful for. Reframing your thinking reduces how stressed you feel. (Link to well mind)

Write problems you need to solve before sleep.

  • If you are a bedtime worrier don’t let that keep you up! Schedule ‘worry time’ before bed and write your worries or problems down. Then leave it until the next day.

Disclaimer

The information provided by Health in Gear (OzHelp Foundation Ltd) is general information only and does not take into consideration your own personal circumstances. Before acting upon any information provided, please consider if the information is suitable to meet your own objectives and seek health advice specific to your needs, if appropriate.

Accordingly, Health in Gear (OzHelp Foundation Limited) and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including without limitation liability by reason of negligence) to any users of the information provided for any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise), cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation in the information.