Practise Sleeping Well
If you drive a truck, especially long haul, there are small actions you can take to practise getting better quality sleep every time you sleep.
Why it matters
Getting good quality sleep is a skill. When you repeat a routine that gets you good quality sleep your body will strive to repeat it.
- You will have increased energy, improved focus, better memory, reduced stress, and stronger protection against becoming unwell.
- You will stay well, refreshed and safe to drive.
What should I do?
- Create a sleep time routine – practise it.
- Use blue light to wake, yellow light before sleep, red light if you need a night light.
- Take 3 deep breaths hourly – schedule it.
- Sip water hourly – schedule it.
- Write your small wins – schedule it before sleep.
- Write problems you need to solve – schedule it before sleep.
How should I do it?
Create a sleep time routine – prastise it.
- Train your brain to prepare for sleep by following the same set routine every time you need to sleep.
- You could play a song or write in a journal so your brain learns to associate these actions with sleep.
- Some drivers play a white noise phone app.
- Some drivers like to read.
- Some drivers find an eye mask and ear plugs helpful.
- Some drivers find a hot shower before bed raises their body temperature so when the temperature cools it signals to their body that it’s time for sleep.
- Blue light tells your brain to energise your body and get ready for the day
- Yellow light tells your brain to relax your body and get it ready for sleep.
- Red light is the least disruptive to your sleep routine if you need to see during your scheduled sleep time.
- TIP: Limit blue light by staying off your devices at least 60 minutes before sleep, switching your devices to night mode (yellow screen) before you use them at night, or by downloading and using an App such as f.lux (for Android devices).
- Get as much natural light as you can when you want to be awake.
Take 3 deep breaths hourly – schedule it and set reminders on your phone.
Sip water hourly – schedule it and set reminders on your phone.
- TIP: Team sips of water with 3 deep breaths while repeating your affirmation to yourself across your day for improved benefit.
Write your small wins – schedule it 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.
Write problems you need to solve – schedule it before sleep
- If you are a bedtime worrier, schedule ‘worry time’ before bed and write your worries down (that is, the problems you need to solve). Once you retire, remind yourself that you’ve already done your worrying for the day.
- If you need to solve a problem be specific about the worry you write down. You can normally tell what worries you most by what your brain goes over and over (for many drivers these are finances or connections).