A Guide to Healthy Sleeping Habits for Haulage Drivers
A lack of sleep can put any driver at an increased risk of accidents, but this risk is heightened further for haulage drivers due to the increased concentration, accuracy and precision required for driving haulage vehicles.
This is why getting the right amount of sleep is essential for haulage drivers to ensure the safety of themselves and other road users.
In fact, research from RoSPA shows that driver fatigue contributes to up to 20% of road accidents and up to 25% of fatal and serious accidents.
How Can Haulage Drivers Improve Sleeping Habits?
In this article, we explore some top tips for improving sleeping habits for haulage drivers.
Take Power Naps
Whilst some swear by power naps, others find they wake up feeling much more tired than before, but this is likely because they are napping for too long.
Shorter naps (20 minutes or so) are most effective because you stay in the lighter stages of sleep, whereas with longer naps you enter a deeper sleep state which can be harder to wake up from properly afterwards – resulting in the all-too-common post-nap grogginess.
Stick to multiple short naps where possible, as opposed to one long nap.
Create a Bedtime Routine
Due to the nature of haulage driving, it’s practically impossible to have a regular sleep time, which can make it even harder to fall asleep during your time away from the road. In place of a set bedtime, consider creating a bedtime routine instead.
A bedtime routine is a set of regular actions that help signal to your body that it’s time to go to sleep.
This might involve making a cup of tea, brushing your teeth and settling down to read a book, for example. It doesn’t matter too much what you choose to do, the main thing is to try and keep the routine the same each time.
Avoid Light, Noise and Electronics
It goes without saying that light and noise can be extremely disruptive to sleep, so it’s critical that you avoid them at all costs when trying to sleep.
Invest in some ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones, as well as a good quality eye mask. You might also want to consider a white noise machine to block out any road noise, especially if you’re sleeping during the day.
It’s also a good idea to avoid your phone, laptop and TV at least an hour before sleep. Devices such as these emit blue light which delays production of the sleep hormone (melatonin) and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Get Some Physical Activity
It can be difficult to squeeze exercise in between drives, but physical activity can help put a lively mind to rest and settle down for sleep.
A brisk walk is great for relieving stress and makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer. You might even consider making this a part of your bedtime routine.
Sleep Well, Stay Safe
The consequences of fatigue can be fatal for drivers, especially haulage drivers. The tips we’ve outlined above should help you improve the quality and amount of sleep haulage drivers get.
At Portman Logistics, the health and safety of our drivers is paramount. If you’re interested in a new role, we’re currently recruiting for new drivers and we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us for more information.