Top tips for a better nights sleep
As a taxi company, we’re incredibly aware of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Our drivers are out on the road 24 hours a day, and while on the outside it may seem quite relaxing to sit behind the wheel all day, it actually takes a huge amount of concentration and mental energy to maintain the focus needed to ensure you as a driver and your passengers remain safe at all times. The recommended amount of sleep for the average adult is between 7 and 9 hours a night to ensure you’re in peak mental and physical condition, but sometimes life gets in the way, and getting the right amount of crucial shut-eye can fall by the wayside. There are loads of articles and blogs out there offering tips on how to sleep better, but we wanted to do something a little different, so we’ve spoken to a few of our drivers and asked them how they ensure they’re getting a consistently great nights to sleep so that they can be fresh and alert for a long shift of driving. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, we really hope you find some of this advice helpful. We’re not medical professionals, so if you are suffering from serious insomnia, please consult your GP! For helpful tips to combat those occasional issues nodding off, read on!
Listen to soothing sounds or music to ease you into sleep
For some people, the idea of anything but total silence when going to sleep is total and utter hell. However, if you struggle to turn your mind off at night and this is affecting your ability to fall asleep easily, listening to something might be a good idea. It will give your mind something to do other than think about how you can’t get to sleep and before you know it you could be out like a light! This top tip comes from one of our longest serving drivers John who likes to play music quietly to help him nod off. During a run of night shifts, he finds listening to the same few songs helps his body know it’s time to sleep despite it being bright and sunny outside. But it doesn’t have to be just music – anything that you find interesting or relaxing could work, but try to avoid anything with varying volume levels or harsh noises such as applause as this might jolt you back awake!
Incorporate small amounts of activity into your day
It’s no secret that being a taxi driver is a sedentary job. You can’t get around the fact that you’ll be sitting down most of the day. In general, lack of physical activity throughout the day can be known to lead to struggles falling or staying asleep. This isn’t just true of people who drive for a living – anyone who spends most of the day sat down still might experience this issue at some point in their life. Fitness fanatic driver Jane swears by fitting small amounts of physical activity into her day. Something as simple as jogging on the spot for 5 minutes a few times a day, or doing 10 squats every time you use the bathroom, can all add up to a massive increase in physical activity compared to what you’d usually do. Getting more active throughout the day will aid restful sleep, and it can also help you feel more awake throughout the day, making it less tempting to rely on stimulants such as caffeine, which can further affect sleep quality.
Give meditation a go
Feelings of stress or anxiety can really affect how well you sleep, or whether you can sleep at all. This next tip might seem a little bit out there for the average person, but our driver Steve swears by it. Meditation isn’t just something that monks do to try and achieve nirvana. Meditation in its simplest form involves sitting or lying comfortably and clearing your mind. Some people count, some people focus on their breathing, the important thing is to try and clear your mind and relax your body. Sure, it takes some practise, but just 5 minutes of deep breathing and mind clearing can put you into an intensely relaxed state that will help you to sleep much better. There’s no right or wrong way to meditate, and you don’t even need to call it that, just taking a few minutes to release the day’s tension can do absolute wonders.
Read a book
Everyone knows that blue light from screens can really affect your ability to fall asleep. But for 99% of people, the idea of coming home from work and sitting staring at the wall for a few hours before bed isn’t appealing, so the blue light seems unavoidable! Driver Jan suggests reading a book instead. It’s a great way to escape the daily stresses of life and wander through a world of fantasy, and the best part is, a physical book has no stimulating blue light! Jan thinks a lot of people have fallen out of love with reading because reaching for a phone or a tablet is easier, but if you sometimes struggle to get to sleep, why not give it a go? You might rediscover a passion for reading, and maybe some time away from the screen would be good for you, who knows?
We hope you find some of the above tips, straight from our drivers wise brains, will help you out if you’re ever in a pickle when it comes to sleep. And if you have any great tips you’d love to share that we haven’t mentioned, please get in touch and let us know!