|Quilt made for us by good friend Jo Short
As team drivers we very seldom have to change our sleep patters as many solo drivers do day in and day out. Sometimes a solo can start their day very early and then switching it around and starting their day very late.
Learning to sleep in a moving vehicle is not easy for most, but learning to sleep when we would normally be awake is an art form. In our situation we found that to sleep the best we need it to be dark inside and outside of the truck. During the day there is a lot that happens, we receive load offers by phone or by computer, the traffic is heavier, and if not under a load we are inside and then outside of the truck doing chores. Like many other drivers we switch between three and four in the morning and three and four in the afternoon.
If we are not under a load it is easy to keep to this schedule and still enjoy eating a meal together, grocery shopping, or visiting with other drivers and still get our sleep. One of the hardest things a team driver faces is changing time zones and for the evening driver the sun seems like it will never set and the morning driver wondering if the sun will ever come up! If we spend very much time on the west coast our internal clocks slowly change to that time zone and then easily switch back once we head east.
Sleeping in a moving truck is not the same as dozing while someone else drives in a car. We made that mistake when we first started team driving and did not see any problems falling asleep in a moving vehicle. Where we ever wrong! Dozing was not a problem in a car and we could easily switch out drivers on long trips for a few hours while the other dozed. Not a problem right? In a commercial vehicle where we were going to need to drive our shift of eleven hours now that was a problem as a short nap was not going to get it.
First we added a memory foam topper to our bed as bouncing while trying to sleep did not work at all. Next we made sure that nothing rattled in the sleeper and that the sleeper was made as dark and as cool as possible. One of the problems faced as the truck goes down the road is rolling in the bed forward and backward in the bed as the truck slows down or speeds up. Putting a pillow between your body and the wall helps to absorb much of this movement.
Before going to bed relax your mind by reading a book. If noise of the passing vehicles bothers you or when parked at a truck stop and trucks come and go all night use earplugs. I found the best to be the ones in the shooters sections of stores that are form fitting to your ears. To help me relax I often spray the sheets and pillow with a mixture of lavender and vanilla that I purchase. Also using lavender essential oil on the soles of your feet seems to help me to relax.
Mastering sleep is often the key to becoming a successful team operation.