Choosing to drive the hours that work for you and your employer/customer is critical to your success as an over-the-road driver. Choosing when to drive may require a plan for changing the sleep pattern you’ve established over the years. Disruption of your sleeping routine can result in various physical symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, endocrine, and immune disorders. Yes, sleep is a very big deal when you’re a professional driver.
Sleep time is critical to a person’s health and mood, not to mention the effects on reaction time and cognitive functions. Additionally, The Department of Transportation has a requirement for downtime in an effort to keep America’s highways safe for everyone. After all, when you’re hauling 80,000 pounds of product and need to make a sudden, unexpected stop, drowsiness from lack of sleep simply cannot be an option.
Why Drive Days?
- Clear visibility
- Compatible with a current sleep routine
- All services available
- Keep usual lines of communication open with family
Why Drive Nights?
- Less volume of vehicles
- Minimal delays due to road construction
- The height of the cab avoids compromised night vision from glare of headlights
If you decide to choose night driving and need to restructure your sleep routine, here are a few tips to help you make a smooth transition:
- Nix the stimulants (coffee, cola, spicy food, cigarettes, sugars). These stimulants can stay in your system for up to 4 hours.
- Stay awake an hour or two later than usual each evening, gradually moving bedtime to wake up time. Start this one week to ten days before the needed shift change.
- Unfamiliar surroundings can keep you awake as you hear unusual sounds. Playing soothing music with help lull you to sleep.
- Lights out! Keep your bunk as dark as possible with a black-out curtain.
- Calm down after dinner. Relax. Reading, instead of using technology, can help your brain to shut down so sleep comes easier.
Choosing to drive days or nights is ultimately up to you. The trucking industry is a critical component of moving product from the manufacturer3, farmer, or seaport into the hands of the consumer. Contact us today to train for an exciting career as a professional truck driver.