Just For Fun

Where Do Truck Drivers Sleep?

February 28, 2022

Where Do Truck Drivers Sleep?

Your OTR sleep questions answered!

While nothing beats sleeping in your own bed, that isn’t an option for every truck driver, especially those who drive over the road. If you’re new to truck driving or still considering it as a career, you may be wondering where and how truck drivers sleep when they’re on the road for days or weeks at a time. We’ve got answers to all your questions as well as tips for getting the best quality sleep while on a long haul.

Sleeper Cabs

Most over the road truck drivers sleep in sleeper cabs. Sleeper cabs are large cabs that have a bed behind the driver’s seat. There are lots of available options for sleeper cabs. Some are bare bones, but there are luxury versions, too. Often the small sleeping space has storage, blackout curtains, and other additions to make it more homey. 

These cabs allow drivers to can sleep anywhere they can park their rig.  And drivers can save money and hassle by not having to find and pay for a hotel or motel while on the road. If you drive as a team and have a sleeper cab, one person can sleep while the other drives. 

How Do Truckers Stay Warm at Night?

Newer sleeper cabs have special equipment to run climate control while the driver is resting. Not all drivers are able to take their sleep breaks at night, so staying cool during the day is just as important as staying warm at nighttime. If you’re driving an older truck that doesn’t have that technology, there are lots of options for auxiliary power units (APUs) to run a bunk heater or something similar to keep you comfortable.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

According to the CDC, adults  needat least 7 hours of sleep each night. Keep in mind that truck drivers are only allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours per day. According to the FMCSA rules, drivers may split their required off-duty period, as long as one off-duty period (whether in the sleeper berth or not) is at least 2 hours long and the other involves at least 7 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. All sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours. In addition to following regulations, always listen to your body and make sure you're rested enough to operate your truck safely.

Tips for Getting Better Sleep in a Truck

It may take some time to get used to sleeping in your truck cab. But there are lots of things you can do to help make sure you fall asleep quickly and wake up refreshed.

Block Out Light

It’s easier to fall asleep when it’s dark, but you may find yourself needing to sleep at odd hours or in places that are brightly lit. Blackout curtains, sun shields, or even just an eye pillow will help you block out light so your body knows it’s time for bed.

Reduce Noise

We all know that truck stops and rest stops are not always the quietest places to park. Wearing high quality ear plugs or using a white noise machine (or app) can improve the quality of your sleep so that you’re not woken by noises outside your cab.

Pick a Good Parking Spot

With a sleeper cab you can technically sleep anywhere that you can park your truck. But choosing somewhere safe and quiet is ideal. It’s extremely dangerous to simply pull your rig to the side of the road to sleep. Park at a truck stop, travel center, or rest stop to catch your forty winks.

Put Your Phone Down

We have all heard that we’re supposed to stop using our phones for a while before going to bed. It’s definitely a struggle. But set an alarm on your phone a half hour before bed to remind yourself to put it away and turn it on silent before you go to sleep.

Customize Your Bed

You’ll spend a lot of time in the sleeper cab of your truck over the course of your career so youou might as well be comfortable. Investing in a mattress topper, nice sheets, and even a weighted blanket will all improve the quality of your sleep and help you wake refreshed and ready to drive. 

Getting good quality sleep as a truck driver isn’t always easy. But sleep is critical for your safety and others on the road. Driving while tired is as dangerous as driving drunk, so make sure you get enough sleep and listen to your body so you can drive safely.

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