Next to breathing, eating and drinking, sleep is one of the most important needs of every human being. For a professional driver it should be of particular importance
Why is sleep so important?
Many people wonder why sleep is so important in our lives, whether it is possible to reduce it to a minimum and what effects it will have. Sleep is an integral part of everyone’s functioning, regardless of their occupation or lifestyle. This type of rest is crucial in the processes of memory storage and general brain functioning. Not getting enough sleep causes many problems related to the work of the endocrine and immune systems. Our motivation to act, our mood, as well as our concentration – absolutely necessary while doing the job of a driver – also suffers. In addition, we must remember that it is not the length of sleep that is the most important. Sometimes it happens that we sleep for 10 hours and we are still not sleepy. What counts above all is its quality. Pay attention to the conditions in which we fall asleep and the time, because it is also very important
Sleep-deprived driver – what can be the consequences?
Lack of sufficient sleep is a common problem that affects a large group of professional drivers. Due to the nature of their work, however, rest should be taken very seriously. After all, it is what largely affects the safety and comfort of long journeys. It is the duty of every driver to get the best possible sleep – especially before setting off on a long journey.
If you don’t get enough sleep, it will affect your mood and you may not be as committed to the task at hand. But for the body itself the lack of sleep can be much more dangerous and fatal. The proper course of physiological processes, metabolic balance, immunity or the work of the nervous system largely depend on the rest of our body. If we slept too little or the quality of our sleep was not good enough – the effects will be felt almost immediately
Rest is especially important for professional drivers. Statistics say that about 3% of accidents are caused by excessive sleepiness and the resulting inattention of drivers. Keep in mind that as sleeplessness increases, so does the body’s reaction time, regardless of experience behind the wheel
Is it a disease?
Although excessive fatigue usually stems from a lack of time or opportunity to relax, there are cases where drivers suffer from sleep disorders. The biggest threat is a condition called hypersomnia. One variation of this is called narcolepsy, which manifests itself in sudden, completely unexpected sleep. It is easy to imagine how tragic its consequences can be in a driving situation. If we have any problems with sleep – let’s not delay. It is best to visit a specialist as soon as possible, who will certainly know how to help you. Many people do not even realize how much sleep influences their health and well-being. Sleepy man is a happy man
Preparation before the route – the optimal amount of sleep
The number one rule is not to let yourself have a sleepless night. In such a situation there is no reason to believe that we will be able to drive for several hours. It doesn’t matter if we didn’t sleep at all, or only for two hours – a sleepless night means not getting enough sleep. So what is the optimal length? A long journey must be preceded by at least six hours of sleep. This is the absolute minimum to ensure your own safety and that of other road users. Remember that we are also responsible for others. If during your work you feel suddenly tired and irresistible urge to fall asleep, do not hesitate! The only right solution is to stop and take an energy nap. Sometimes even 15 minutes is enough.
Sleep at night or during the day?
The key to success is to fall asleep at regular times. Ideally, you should go to bed as early as midnight. The human body is naturally adapted to rest at night, but to be active during the day. If this mode is disrupted, the quality of our sleep will also drop drastically. The problem arises in the case of shift work, when it is necessary to drive at night, or situations that force the driver to work at irregular times, for example, excessive waiting time for loading or unloading, or a queue at the border, or a traffic jam on the highway. In such a situation it is necessary to take care of an appropriate diet, because it is also very important for the proper functioning of our body. Try to avoid, first of all, extremely harmful energy drinks. Definitely a better choice will be coffee and a high-energy, healthy meal, full of cereals, fruits and vegetables