What you can learn about sleep from truckers

Stephanie Vozza at Fast Company:

[Dean Croke, principal analyst at DAT Freight & Analytics, an on-demand freight marketplace] says the body is programmed to sleep twice a day, at night and again eight hours after you wake. The second sleep should be a 30-minute or a 90-minute nap to take advantage of the sleep cycles and avoid waking during deep sleep.

Having a bedtime is important. Croke recommends to trucking companies that they have drivers start work at the same time every day.

Starting work the same time every day encourages a fixed bedtime.

If you have a week that wears you down, Croke says you can make up for it on the weekend.

“The brain is incredibly resilient,” he says. “You’ll bounce back quickly if you’ve got two periods of good sleep at the end of the week. I call it the ‘two and seven rule.’ Get two periods of consecutive sleep each week to get rid of the sleep debt from the previous week.”

After two periods of good sleep, the brain washes away that sleep debt, and you can start Monday morning fresh.

Sleeping in on weekends runs contrary to a lot of other sleep advice I’ve read, but I believe it. With regard to sleep advice, a lot of folklore gets passed as science.