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Our Semi-Truck Drivers Aren't Sleeping Enough

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

It’s a well-known fact, and trope, that you’ve gotta get those 8 hours a night in order to be a fully-functioning, not-miserable person the next day. It’s also a well-known fact that many of us don’t, or literally can’t, manage to squeeze 8 hours of our 24 to get that time in.

Of all sectors of industry, our long-haul truck drivers are some of the most sleep-deprived people in the country. And considering they’re low-key the backbone of our national supply and distribution structure, shouldn’t it be kind of important for them to sleep well?

Truck drivers have a big job – just because they’re sitting doesn’t mean the work isn’t hard; you try staring at the road and staying aware for 12+ hours without moving. Driving all day every day, sleeping in strange places in short hours – they deserve better. Plus, if every driver consistently got a good night’s sleep in their truck cabs, the roads would be safer for them and for us.

Scary Stats on Sleep Deprivation During a Long-Haul

Because our freight truck drivers drive supply routes all over the country, they’re a common sight on every highway, and even some narrow state roads where there are no other options. And semi-trucks are huge, so when things go wrong, the consequences are anywhere from serious to horrific. To put it into hard facts:

  • 100,000+ vehicle accidents involving semi-truck drivers driving while fatigued occur each year.

  • These drowsy driving semi accidents account for more than 40,000 injuries and 15,000 deaths.

  • In accidents between a freight truck and a passenger vehicle, 98% of deaths are those in the passenger vehicle.

  • Someone who has been awake for 17 hours exhibits driving capabilities consistent with some who has a blood alcohol level of .50 in some cases. That means they’re impaired at the equivalent of 7x the legal limit of alcohol.

  • Long-haul drivers average less than 5 hours of sleep per night with lower-than-average deep sleep cycles.

  • When drivers nap, they average 15-25 minutes, and it tends not to add any restorative sleep.

  • In order to keep up with their difficult deadlines, over 95% of truck drivers habitually use caffeine, and more than 10% use amphetamines.

  • The majority of commercial truck-related accidents and near misses happen from 12-2am, 4-6am, and 2-4pm.

Perhaps most scary of all is that in a study of truck driver’s sleep length and quality, some drivers registered brain waves that match Stage 1 sleep while driving their rig. Essentially, the chronic lack of sleep, coupled with the need to be alert and concentrated for long days, are causing truck drivers’ brains to create solutions that, while maximizing the brain’s ability to function under these awful circumstances, make things way more dangerous for them and others on the road.

The Problem with the Standard Truck Beds in Sleeping Cabs

There are a few things wrong with truck cabs, and we can’t manage all of them, but we can get pretty close. The obvious biggie in your ability to really rest in your semi’s bed is the mattress. And just like RV mattresses, every truck driver knows the bed that came standard with their cab is not a real bed. Is it a dorm mattress? A camping pad? Cushion? Who knows. But it’s definitely not helping your muscles and joints, or that crick in your back.

Sitting in the driver’s seat all day takes a real toll on your shoulders, hips, spine, and knees. And if you’re sleeping on a standard semi mattress, you’re likely not getting the pressure point relief you need each night. A truck mattress that’s too thin, too soft, or even extra firm, won’t allow you to get restful, restorative sleep, which hurts you mentally and physically, as well as threatens your job performance.

A Custom Truck Mattress is the Solution to Getting Solid Sleep on the Road

The problem with finding the right mattress to replace the one in your cab bed is you’re likely not going to find one in stores. Beds in commercial trucks are sometimes twin, twin XL, or short queen, but other times they’re even more obscure than a short queen and require specific custom measurements to fit he cab bed correctly. Now, you can get these from your truck’s manufacturer, but they’ll likely just be replacement mattresses of the same quality.

But getting a super-comfy, durable, custom foam mattress for your truck’s bed is actually really easy – you can design it and order it on today’s break, just like that. And then next time you’re on leave at home, it’ll show up right at your house. Unbox, slip into your truck’s bed platform, and use that nasty old mattress pad as kindling. Just kidding – burning mattresses creates toxic fumes. Still, you could do something fun like use it for target practice or as a somersault pad in the kids’ playroom.


A custom-made mattress with matching bedding is going to revolutionize your sleep game while you’re on the road. A comfy, supportive mattress can make a restless sleeper still, stiff joints loose, and sore backs relaxed. It helps your body rest so it can recover from long days of driving, because, let’s be honest, sitting in the same spot for 16 hours isn’t exactly great for your posture.

In addition to the personal benefits of a custom truck mattress that fits your body and your lifestyle, you’re also going to reap job-related benefits. First, driving will be significantly less miserable. But then you’ve got other advantages like improved attention, concentration, reaction time, and productivity. All this from a mattress tailored to get you the best possible sleep every night, no matter where you are.

Solutions to Make Your Truck’s Bedroom Restful & Restorative

You can do a few simple things to complement the custom replacement mattress in your truck’s bedroom, and they’re all about keeping light and sound away. Freight truck drivers are often sleeping in different and unorthodox places, and something they’re even asleep during the day. It’s just a reality of the job, but the more you can do to signal your body’s circadian rhythm at the right times, the more benefits you’ll be able to reap from your new semi-truck mattress:

  • Make sure your sleep setup in your semi is light-proof. Blackout curtains everywhere and covers for any digital displays that might be on at night. And an eye mask couldn’t hurt.

  • Control the noise you’re exposed to. Truck cabs, sadly, are anything but sound proof. But you can invest in some legit noise-cancelling earbuds. Or, add more noise, but the right kind. A white, pink or brown noise machine can drown out those irregular sounds that would normally wake you up, and it helps your body move into sleep stages more smoothly.

  • Stop drinking so much liquid in the evenings.

  • Limit caffeine and other stimulants like nicotine at least 5 hours before you go to bed.

  • Try a melatonin supplement.

  • Don’t eat heavy meals within 2 hours of bedtime.

  • Have a normalized bedtime routine – it’ll eventually start to signal your body’s systems that it’s time to go to sleep.

  • Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb for your sleep hours. Your boss can wait – you’re on break.

Finding the Right Custom Mattress Company for Your Semi’s Sleeping Cab

You don’t have to go to the manufacturer for an expensive mattress upgrade that really doesn’t do that much upgrading, comfort-wise. has you covered. We can craft any kind of truck mattress – folding mattresses, ones with curved corners, angled corners, or any other features you need. You can choose your materials and firmness as well. Our custom mattresses are high-quality and made to order, so you know you’re getting the customized sleep you so need after a long day driving.

And don’t forget the bedding! That can be almost as important as the mattress itself. When you’re dealing with specialized sleep settings like a truck bed, it’s always a good idea to have bed linens made custom to match, especially for mattresses with strange shapes or hinges. Our tailored bedding is made from high-thread-count Egyptian cotton for a soft, breathable, super-comfy sleep. Paired with our custom mattresses, you’ll never have slept so well in a semi-truck bed.

Our commercial drivers are a vital part of our economy, and more than anyone, they deserve a place to sleep that’s isolated, comfortable and restful. Consider starting your journey towards better sleep on the road; design the perfect custom mattress for your truck bed and get bespoke bedding made to match.


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