Forcing Your Body To Sleep?

Topic 20527 | Page 1

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Adam B.'s Comment
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We are slaves to the freight we haul, and that often means delivering or picking up at weird times. For example, this load I'm sitting on delivers at 2am. My question is how do you force your body to sleep at such different times to accommodate the freight? It seems like I can't fall asleep any earlier than 9pm no matter how tired I am.

Pete B.'s Comment
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Adam, we're not always going to be able to achieve a 6-9 hr sleep session during our 10-hr break. And when you turn your sleep schedule on its ear like that, it makes it even more difficult to get decent shut-eye. But I've found that when I close the curtain, generate a nice cozy cool temperature, clear my head and just relax, in the dark, sleep happens. You really have to be disciplined and put down the phone/electronic devices, and all other manners of distraction. If you only get an hour, hour-and-a-half, or two hours of sleep, it's still preferable to none at all.

If you've done all that and still weren't able to fall asleep, you will be tested during your next driving schedule, so stop often, stay safe, and rest-assured you won't have any issues falling asleep during your next 10.

Last Shadow's Comment
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I use a rain on tin roof app, it takes a while sometimes, but it always puts me to sleep, maybe I'm just old.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Pete has some good thoughts about your frame of mind in "sleep management". Don't forget it's only you in the sleeper - nobody there to talk to. When you pull the curtains over the windows, you can't easily tell if it's day or night.

I've never used a sound app, but for some people, that quiet "shhhhhh" will help drown out the noise. For me, rain on a tin roof is one of the best sounds to listen to.

Stop with the phone calls, don't play "exciting" computer games. Yes, be disciplined. I play a solitaire game till my eyes don't want to look at it anymore.

Also, when you get your dispatch, work out a schedule ahead of time. You will find that starting your day at 1am is really a good deal - no traffic, and when you are ready to pull in at 3pm, the whole parking lot is yours.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I think different things work for different people. For me, I always fall asleep while reading a book. I enjoy reading, but somehow I never last more than 10 - 20 minutes and I'm sound asleep.

I believe learning to fall asleep when you have the opportunity is actually a learned skill you develop over time. You do learn to control your mind and lay down to fall asleep with confidence, knowing you'll have no problem doing so. You'll also learn to sleep very hard while you're sleeping. Again, that's a mindset you develop over time.

Interestingly enough I went camping the other night and the nights are already significantly longer this time of year. For a short time I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't be able to sleep through the night and would be wandering around with a headlamp on waiting for my time to head out on the next hike. Then I immediately realized I was psyching myself out over nothing. Of course I could sleep just fine! I stopped worrying about it, told myself I was going to sleep hard for a very long time, and I did. Got a great night's sleep.

You'll get the hang of it. Make it one of those things you focus on in order to become a safer, more productive driver. Turning all of the miles you can safely very much depends upon your ability to sleep as long and hard as the opportunity allows.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Paul F. 's Comment
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I'm in tnt now, and have found it difficult at times to sleep in the moving truck. Several things have helped me. I actually got a bottle of melatonin supliment. I've only used it a couplebof times but it seemed to help. I also cover my eyes with a corner of my blanket to make it adds "dark" as possible. Also I (like brett) like to read, but I read on my phone, do I turn the brightness down as dark as possible for me to still be able to read. To me, the best remedy to sleep well under any corcumstances is to drive 8-10 hours. I can sleep on a roller coaster if I'm tired enough.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14ยข per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Superlejera's Comment
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I drink zzzquil to go to sleep maybe that will help

Pianoman's Comment
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Totally agree with everything said above about getting in the right frame of mind and eliminating distractions. Sometimes I just couldn't sleep no matter how hard I tried, but most of the time if I just closed the curtain, shut my eyes, and didn't move for a while I'd fall asleep or at least feel more rested when I got up.

Something strange I've noticed since being home is that I can't sleep very well in bed during the day, but I can always sleep great on the couch, even if it's warm and the room isn't dark. So when I go back on the road in a couple weeks I'm gonna put a couple "props" in my sleeper to try to simulate a couch.

John L.'s Comment
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Currently I'm not a truck driver (still working on the free High Road training course), but I've been working an overnight job for years, so I know what it feels like first hand to have to manage sleep at times less than ideal. I'll share some of the things that have really helped me sleep when I need to.

Supplements--fish oil and magnesium (both are safe). Fish oil helps with brain chemistry, keeping a sense of chemical balance. It doesn't specifically help to make you sleep, but it will make your brain work more efficiently to produce hormones, including the ones that make you sleep. Magnesium can help you not only fall asleep faster, but also get a better quality sleep. Again, it's not specifically going to put you to sleep, but it helps your body with many chemical reactions, including production of sleep hormones. Avoid magnesium oxide, as it's not easily absorbable. Look for magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate--they are much better absorbed.

Hypnosis recordings--these have been a great help to me in relaxing and falling asleep. Not only did I start sleeping a lot better, but I feel refreshed when I wake up, as opposed to exhausted. If you can get an internet connection, there are many free ones available on youtube. The one I recommend is Steve G. Jones. He has many free recordings on youtube, though I've purchased and downloaded several onto my smart phone. Once I put on one of his recordings, I'm usually "out" in five minutes.

Lastly, I'd recommend not looking at any computer screens just before going to sleep--the screen exposure can stimulate your brain, making it difficult to sleep.

I hope that helps. Best of luck to you!

My CB Handle is Frank's Comment
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The most helpful thing for me to learn to fall asleep and take a nap during the day was learning that just lying down and putting your feet up while relaxing can be just as restful as a short nap. Once I learned that, I started relaxing so much instead of stressing over falling asleep that I actually started catching myself falling asleep.

Now I'm a champion napper. There's not much I'm good at but I'm good at napping!

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