Truck Driver Sleeping Tips for Better Rest On the Road

Stay alert and refreshed with truck driver sleeping tips provided by professional sleep experts. Our guide will show you how to create good sleep habits while on the road


Jacob Lee
September 8, 2020
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Truck driver sleeping tips are more important than ever in this day and age. In this profession, lacking effective rest habits can lead to more than feeling tired. Not getting enough can also impact a driver’s ability to concentrate and react in time to traffic on the road. Therefore, truckers need to adapt good sleep habits when they’re on the job.  

In line with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), our truck driver sleeping tips include: 

  • Using a good mattress
  • Using a good pillow
  • Parking somewhere quiet and safe
  • Using foam ear plugs
  • Blocking all outside light

Using these tips will make a calm and comfortable environment that truckers need for a good night’s rest. 

We’ll delve deeper into these truck driver sleeping tips and other considerations that should be made to ensure good rest on the road.

Why Truck Driver Sleeping Tips Are Important

Getting enough sleep is very essential for truckers. A driver that doesn’t get the appropriate hours of rest won’t perform well. Truckers who don’t get the sleep they require can also be a danger to themselves and others on the road. 

While there are no specific sleep requirements that have to be followed, (FMCSA) regulations dictate that truckers must take a 10-hour break after driving for 11 hours within a 14-hour workday.

This theoretically allows for 8–10 hours of sleep, but the actual amount of time for drivers can be less. There are a variety of reasons why getting good rest can be difficult for truckers. 

This includes:

  • Finding a safe and legal place to park
  • Managing load schedules
  • Meal preparation
  • Communication with family and friends

These challenges can prevent truck drivers from keeping a consistent sleep schedule while on the road. 

Truck driver sleeping tips will help drivers get rest on the road like the on in  the image

Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers

Despite there being no truck driver sleep laws, it’s imperative for these professionals to adopt some good habits to ensure they get the rest they require. Waking up fresh every day will ensure a driver performs effectively and adheres to all safety requirements. 

Use A Good Mattress

Investing in a good mattress is paramount for truck drivers who spend nights on the road. The right one can make a significant difference in sleep quality and provide the comfort needed for a good night’s rest. 

The wrong mattress or one that’s become worn out will only cause pain and stiffness. Therefore, truckers will have to look at a few different factors to find the right bed.

These include:

  • Type
  • Firmness
  • Size

The type of mattress that a trucker gets is extremely important. Memory foam or other specialized materials cancontour to the body of a truck driver and provide the right support. The type of substance used in the mattress can differ based on personal preferences. Therefore, truckers should try out some different designs or pick a bed similar to the one they have at home.  

Firmness should also be considered when picking out a mattress. Some truckers prefer a softer feel, while others need more support. As with the material of the mattress, this is all a matter of preference. Finally, truckers will need to pick a bed that will fit in their vehicle. The mattress needs to fit well within the sleeping compartment. An ill-fitting bed can create discomfort. 

A good mattress will work wonders on your spine, but there are other steps you’ll need to take to reduce truck driver back pain. Our article on the topic will provide you with more information.

Use A Good Pillow

Just like a quality mattress, using a good pillow is an important truck driver sleeping tip. Utilizing the right one will make falling asleep quickly very easy to achieve. However, this bed piece will need to have a few important characteristics to provide the required level of comfort. 

This includes:

  • Neck and spinal alignment
  • Breathable materials

Neck and spinal alignment will help truckers stay comfortable and prevent back pain while they’re awake. The materials of the pillow should be breathable and allow air to flow through it. This will help truckers keep cool while they’re sleeping. 

Park somewhere safe and quiet

Parking at safe and quiet locations can make a difference when trying to get a good night’s sleep. The environment a driver chooses impacts not only their safety, but also the quality of their rest. 

A good place to park for the night will have the following features:

  • Good lighting
  • Security
  • Low noise level
  • Legal parking

A well lit area allows a truck driver to quickly identify any dangers that could occur at night. The noise level of a parking area should also be considered . Truckers should seek out spots away from heavy traffic or noisy industrial areas to minimize disturbances. 

Finally, drivers need to find a location where it’s legal to park. The last thing a driver ever wants is to be woken up at night to a ticket from the Department of Transportation (DOT). Many truckers struggle to find a place to park that has each of these characteristics. 

Reasons for this include:

  • Limited availability at rest stops
  • Legal restrictions
  • Safety concerns
  • Size and space constraints

Not being able to find a safe place to park can cause truckers to lose out on sleep. Fortunately, there are a few steps drivers can take to find a good place to settle for the night. 

This includes:

  • Use specialized apps and GPS devices
  • Planning ahead
  • Utilize truck stops when possible
  • Check with shippers and receivers
  • Rely on recommendations from truckers

Many apps are designed specifically to help truck drivers find a spot to settle in for the night. These systems provide information on good parking areas, including safety ratings, amenities, and real-time availability. Truckers should research and plan their stops starting along their routes. 

Having a ready list of  places to rest for the night ahead of time can alleviate the stress of searching for a spot. Major truck stop chains usually offer designated parking for truckers, often with additional amenities like showers and food. Membership or loyalty programs may also provide benefits like reserved parking. Truckers should use these areas if they’re available while on their journey.

Sometimes, the facilities where drivers are picking up or delivering allow overnight parking. Asking in advance can help these professionals determine if they can find an area nearby to rest. Lastly, looking at reviews from other truckers will be helpful. 

Online forums and social media groups can provide valuable insights into the best spots to stop at night. Experienced drivers who’ve traveled along the same route often know great locations that may not be widely advertised.

Use foam ear plugs

While finding a quiet place to rest at is important, bringing foam ear plugs is a good sleeping tip for truckers. Even when parked in an area with relatively low noise, background disturbances can still be an issue. Foam ear plugs can help block out those unwanted sounds.

There are a variety of plugs that truckers can explore. While using ear muffs or plugs, drivers should use a few good practices to make using them as comfortable as possible. 

This includes:

  • Cleaning
  • Adjusting 

Keeping ear plugs clean or replacing disposable ones regularly is essential for ear health. It will also help keep skin around the ear from getting agitated. Ensuring a proper fit is crucial for effectiveness. It will also make the ear plugs more comfortable to wear while sleeping. Muffs usually have instructions included that explain how these items are supposed to be used.

Block all outside light

Parking in a well lit area is great for safety, but not so much for sleeping. Having a dark cab is essential for getting a good night’s rest. Blocking out unwanted light is important for keeping an effective truck driver sleep schedule. 

A few ways that truckers can do this include:

  • Use blackout curtains
  • Wear a sleep mask
  • Mind electronic devices

Investing in thick or blackout curtains for the truck’s windows can significantly reduce outside light. This will help create a dark and calm atmosphere inside the cab. A comfortable sleep mask can block light that may find its way around curtains. 

Truckers should also turn off or dim any electronic devices that can create light while they sleep. This will reduce distractions while a driver gets their rest at night.

If you want to make life on the road a little bit easier, then check out our article on truck driver life hacks.  

A sleep apnea mask

Can You Be A Truck Driver with Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. This medical complication can be a concern for truck drivers. That said, it’s possible to be a trucker with sleep apnea, and many drivers who have this medical condition have successful careers. However, there are a few guidelines that truckers will need to follow if they struggle with sleep apnea.

This includes:

  • Obtaining medical certification
  • Pursuing treatment
  • Monitoring the condition

Truckers will need to obtain a medical certification from the DOT if they have sleep apnea. To do this, drivers will need to pursue medical treatment with a doctor. Once a trucker has sought out treatment, they’ll be given a “medically-qualified-to-drive” status

Drivers will need to continue their sleep apnea treatment for the duration of their career. This includes doctor visits for the condition and using a CPAP machine while on the road and at home. 

Our article on sleep apnea and truck drivers will provide you with more information about this medical diagnosis. 

Connect With ABCO Transportation Today

At ABCO, we realize how tiring life on the road can be. That’s why we let our truckers pick their own schedule. This flexibility will give you enough time between driving on the road and enjoying the comfort of being at home.

We also offer our truckers a superb benefits package. This allows you to seek the medical care you and your family require. Finally, we offer free resort time at any of our locations throughout the country. You can use these destinations as a place to relax and unwind during your time off. 

If you’re ready to work for a trucking company that cares about you, then fill out your ABCO trucking job application. You can also call us at (866) 980-2710 if you have any questions about our company or what it’s like to work with us. 

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