Sleep is one of the most important components of health and well-being. Without it, your body would become ill and your mind sluggish. Truck drivers often work long shifts and drive for many hours. It’s crucial for physical and mental health that drivers take breaks and get the sleep that they need during in-between and overnight stopovers.
To celebrate World Sleep Day, we are discussing the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. The body actually functions differently during sleep. You could say that it does its own ‘night shift’ of repairs and de-stressing.
Not getting enough sleep can seriously impair your health. Lack of sleep over long periods of time can cause cardiovascular problems, lead to obesity and Type-2 diabetes 1, and reduce immune system functioning.
Getting plenty of high quality sleep, on the other hand, is very healthy. Your body will heal damaged cells, lower blood pressure, and your immune system will be boosted and properly regulated.
If you have any infections or feel ill, sleep is your body’s chance to do the repairs that it needs to do.
Most of the physical benefits of sleep occur during NREM (non rapid eye movement) sleep, which makes up around 75% of your total sleep.
Sleep is also directly related to your mood, and in the long term to mental health. If you don’t get enough sleep for one or two nights, you may notice yourself getting grumpy and irritable. Lack of sleep over long periods can be a factor in depression in anxiety. (2)
The other type of sleep is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This makes up around 25% of total sleep. During this time you have dreams, even if you don’t remember them. Dreams help you to process emotions, memories and reduce the stresses of the day.
It’s important to get a good night’s sleep so that you get time in both NREM and REM sleep. This way, your body and mind can recover fully and you will wake up the next day feeling fresh.
Not getting enough sleep affects your ability to perform physical and mental tasks. After a bad night’s sleep, you may notice that you have difficulty with concentration, as well as absorbing and processing information. If you drive a truck for a living, it’s especially important that you get a good night’s sleep.
A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers who only got 5-6 hours of sleep were 1.9 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who got 7 hours sleep or more. Those who got less than 4 hours sleep were 11.5 times more likely to be in an accident.
Truck drivers now have the support of EU legislation, which outlines maximum driving times and minimum rest periods. The task they are faced with is finding decent secure parking areas for long stays in vehicle cabins, or finding decent hotels to spend the night.
Find a safe and secure resting place
The Truck Parking Europe app solves this problem by giving truck drivers instant access to parking locations on and close to their routes. You can view facilities, book parking spots, and plan your route and rests in advance.
Sleep is crucial for driving performance and safety, and finding the right parking spot can mean the difference between a poor sleep and an excellent night’s rest.
World Sleep Day is an annual event to raise awareness about sleep problems and sleep disorders, and to celebrate the benefits of getting healthy sleep. Whoever you are and whatever you do, sleep well tonight, and every other night, for a healthier and happier life.