How Do Truck Drivers Deal With Insomnia?

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Unholychaos's Comment
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Genuinely need tips on this one. Started my day this morning at 0500, parked at 1530. It's now 2245 and I can't seem to fall asleep and I need to be awake by 0330 for morning routine and need to start my day at the very latest 0400. Had a long day full of lives, so I'm not too physically or mentally exhausted; only drove about 230m today.

I don't have unlimited data, so excessive streaming isn't a huge possibility.

John C.'s Comment
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I sometimes use melatonin. I'm sorry it wont help you tonight, but it's the best thing for insomnia. It's a naturally occurring hormone, so it should not be on any "do not take" list. You can find it any store that sells natural vitamins.

Here is a link with some info.

WebMD melatonin link

Tonight, try counting. The old adage does work. You don't have to count sheep, count anything. It's the mundane repetition that helps. Hope it helps.

Pianoman's Comment
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I feel your pain..

Here are a few things I learned to do while OTR. They work (which is why I still use them now), but they require discipline:

- Put the phone away. Don't talk on the phone, browse, watch movies, etc. I guess you can listen to music if that really helps you, but once you set the music up, don't mess with your phone the rest of the night (or whatever time of day you're sleeping). That little bright screen is a lot bigger culprit than you might think in robbing you of your precious sleep, even if you're only looking at it for a few minutes. I think it's more than the screen though--anytime you talk or do anything else on your phone, you're engaging your brain when you should be settling down to sleep.

- Set a timer. I used to set mine for eight hours, but I tend to require a little more sleep than some other people (compliments of diabetes). If six or seven hours is enough for you, cool. During that time, don't get up for anything other than bathroom breaks.

- Don't move. This one is kinda weird, but it works. Until that timer goes off, force yourself to just lie there, eyes closed, motionless. Seriously, don't even toss and turn. This usually actually helped me fall asleep, even though it was uncomfortable at first. Even if you don't fall asleep, you should feel more rested when you actually get up since you weren't expending much energy while you were down.

- Keep it dark and cool. This one is pretty easy since trucks have good blackout curtains and you can use the A/C if you need it. I'm actually kinda jealous right now because I've been having trouble getting it dark and cool in my apartment during the day when I've been trying to sleep. The only time I had a hard time keeping it cool in my truck is when my A/C wasn't working.

These really do help me. I usually don't have to employ the "Don't move" step unless I really can't sleep, but everything else applies every time you try to sleep. The phone one (or anything with a bright screen) is probably the biggest culprit. I still keep my phone in a different room while I'm sleeping so I'm not tempted to browse when I should be sleeping. Sleeping is kinda like driving--when it's time to sleep, you shouldn't be doing anything else.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

G-Town's Comment
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Pianoman wrote:

Sleeping is kinda like driving--when it's time to sleep, you shouldn't be doing anything else.

Great advice...! Totally agree with this.

Errol V.'s Comment
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I play a really boring game (solitaire) on my tablet, over and over while I'm waiting to nod off.

Bunk curtains closed, a/c or heater set, laying down. So when I finally get groggy, I just lay the tablet down and close my eyes. Rinse. Repeat.

PJ's Comment
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If I start reading a book it puts me out.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
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I had that problem this past week. Even after driving a full shift. But I was heading home, so maybe I was a little excited to see my little baby and wife.

David's Comment
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If I start reading a book it puts me out.

if i look at a book it puts me to sleep =D lol

on the nights/days i couldnt sleep, id get out of my truck and do some kind of exercise to get my mind and body tired. Walk, brisk jog, jumping jacks..

Bill F.'s Comment
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Don't use devices like smart phones, etc...

Tech keeps you awake

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar do I put this without Brett's naughty words system going *TILT!*...self-pleasure?

Seriously, all 12-year-old snickering aside, the aftermath of having taken matters into your own hands (as it were) has been proven to be very beneficial in helping people to relax and get to sleep easier.

Also, avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages within the last couple of hours before you expect to hit the rack, and make sure you've used the restroom recently before you lay down. Maybe it's just me, but nothing kills that pleasant drifting off sensation faster than the need to pee.

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