32.7% of people in the Transportation/Warehousing industry get fewer than 6 hours of sleep a night. Now, this is not a surprise to me. We all know that driver fatigue is an issue in this industry. I see at least one new article a week (if not a day) on driver fatigue: sleep apnea, HOS rules, health-issues related to sleep deprivation, or crash statistics that tie fatigue to accidents. You and I know that sleep is a hot topic for this industry. What surprised me though is that we’re not far off from other industries in sleep profiles:
Anyways… What I thought was most interesting about the article is that it spoke a lot about finding sleep methods that worked for the individual. That sleep issues are only getting worse and our solutions aren’t getting any better. These sleep issues go hand in hand with many other health issues that fleets are seeing today with their driver pool.
Fleets have taken the first step toward a healthier culture by creating programs to help truckers eat better, stop smoking, and potentially lose weight. The TCA recently has begun hosting an annual competition to help companies jump start weight loss programs. Truckstops have begun offering healthy meal alternatives and gyms. Though it’s just starting to get traction among the industry, I think there are a lot of positive feelings toward these programs once they’re started. Just by raising awareness of the issue helps because it’s not a one-size fits all kind of plan.
Trucking is a unique industry and solutions that work well for many other companies can’t work in this industry. Finding solutions for driver fatigue is important for the health of the driver and the health of a company. However, these will have to be attended to much in the same way these other programs have been as each individual has their own sleep needs and sleep patterns. But, I don’t think it will be long before we see more sleep-management programs popping up alongside our truckstop gyms.
My favorite titles for Sleep Management programs (feel free to steal):
- Zzzzz’s to $$$$
- Sound Sleep to Road Ready
- Sleepy? Find your Teepee!
- The Fatigued Fail Fast