Driver Wellness: Sleep Strategies for a Productive Day
Driver wellness is a critical issue for almost every fleet. One critical factor to improving health and wellness is getting enough rest and in particular having an established sleeping regimen. A good night’s sleep can improve your productivity by making you less likely to be fatigued on the road and throughout the day. A good sleep is essential for keeping your body and mind healthy. Sleep restores your energy level and enhances consistent performance of daily activity. It also recharges your immune system and helps regulate your mood. For those with sleep disturbance however, the prospect of deep, uninterrupted slumber may seem out of reach.
If you are someone who has trouble sleeping, there are steps you can take to get the sleep you need:
Establish A Daily Sleep Routine
- Have a regular bedtime. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends, reinforces your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
- Create a comfortable sleeping space. Keep your room a comfortable temperature, and try to keep it dark and quiet. Move the TV and computer out of the room, and use this space exclusively for sleeping.
- Observe a bedtime routine. Sometimes a warm bath or shower, some soothing music, or a good book can help to relax you and prepare you for sleeping. Dim the lights, but avoid the TV or other electronic devices, as these can interfere with sleep.
Establish Healthy Daytime Habits
- Be aware of what you eat. You don’t want to go to bed hungry or stuffed. As bedtime approaches, watch what you eat and especially what you drink. Caffeinated beverages can keep you awake for hours, and too much of any beverage can mean trips to the bathroom.
- Limit naps. People who have trouble sleeping may find that naps help them get a second wind. Nevertheless, they can also keep you awake when you are trying to turn in for the day. To avoid this cycle and sleep better, try to limit your naps.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. Many believe that a “nightcap” is a great way to go to sleep. However, a recent review of more than 20 studies found that alcoholic beverages actually interrupt sleep. You may doze off quickly, but you may also wake up a few hours later and have trouble going back to sleep.
- Be more active during the day. Increased physical activity during the day can help you sleep better at night. However, be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime, as this can leave you feeling energized and keep you awake.
Know When to Seek Help
- Manage your stress. When you have a lot on your mind, sleep can suffer. There are many ways to manage stress. Try getting organized, delegating tasks, and setting priorities. Share a laugh with a friend at work, and remember to take a break when you need one. Write down things that are on your mind before you go to bed.
- If you just can’t sleep... Don’t fight it. Tossing and turning can make it worse. Get up and find some quiet, mindless activity.
- Know when to seek professional help. Most of us will experience the occasional sleepless night. If you are chronically kept awake at night, there could be an underlying cause that requires professional care. In such cases, contact your doctor for help on getting the sleep you need and deserve.
Download this PDF and get in touch with a HUB Transportation advisor to learn more.