It can be a real challenge for a truck driver to figure out the local time. When you can pass a couple or more time zones per trip, your hours of service are something to figure out. Add the time change that happens twice a year and you can get totally confused. If you are one of those struggling with daylight savings time, there are some tips that will help you with the loss of that one hour.
The best thing to do for you if you are a truck driver is to stick with your home time zone. It will help you with your sleeping and working schedule and save you from the need to reset time – both of your body and on your watch. This way time change will not be so confusing for you. To stick with your home time zone, you have to drive during the day hours of your home time zone. Then you will not need to readjust once you are back at home. Accordingly, you have to rest when it is night time at your home time zone. This will keep your routine regular and it will be much easier for you to deal with daylight saving hours.
The reason time is changed after winter is readjusting to the extended daylight hours. Because of this, light is also the solution to the problem of time change. Work during the daytime and get as much sunlight as you can. If you are working during the night or early morning when the sun is not up, a light box can be a great tool for you. They are small electric box style lamps and their light will stimulate your senses imitating the sunshine. They are quite affordable and you can buy one online or in a department store. You can use a light box in your rig when you start driving and during your breaks. Going to truck stops is also a way, as they are well lit and therefore will stimulate your senses.
When it is night in your home time zone, you have to avoid the light. For instance, you can put up a dark shade on your truck cab window. When you go to bed, use a low watt night light if needed. As you are ready to sleep, don’t go to the truck stop, the bright lights there will make you awake.
You have to sleep well to feel good when you wake up and during your work. Don’t drink coffee or alcohol 6 hours before you go to be. It is hard to impossible to fall asleep when you have drunk coffee. Alcohol can make you wake up during the night and it will be hard to get back to sleep.
It is good to exercise before going to bed, as your body and nervous system need stimulation after all the hours you have spent sitting. Or you can take a 30 minute walk instead and make it your routine, so your body is ready to rest after the walk.
If there are showers or bathtubs at the truck stop, don’t hesitate to use them. You will feel relaxed after a warm shower or bath, and it will also keep your bedding clean for longer.
When you have called it a night, avoid watching TV or using a laptop. It is better to read a book as it will make you relaxed and sleepy.
Having a right routine will help you rest better and therefore feel better, as well as make it easier for you to readjust to the time change.