Poor sleep habits combined with long, stressful shifts often leads to health troubles for truck drivers. While the job can be grueling at times, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your health. Falling into bad habits (finding the fastest and easiest meal or sleep option to spend more time on the road) will negatively affect your long-term health. Investing a little bit each day in your health will not only leave you feeling happier, it will also make you more productive.
Start with a healthy diet
One of the easiest ways to impact your health is by making healthier decisions about what you eat.
Eating habits that will help you feel more energized:
- Cut down on portion sizes. Eating smaller, more frequent meals will help you avoid the sluggish feeling that often follows an oversized meal.
- Replace your beverages with water. While having a cup of coffee can be helpful to waking you up, try replacing your afternoon soda or energy drink with water to avoid a sugar crash that leaves you more tired than when you started.
- Eat foods high in lean protein. Munch on foods like salmon, walnuts and sweet potato to keep your energy levels up (you can find these already cooked & ready to go in most grocery stores!)
- Don’t resist the sweets! Just stick to dark chocolate for an amazing energy boost, or have a sweet apple as a snack during your break.
Get moving — even in little bursts throughout the day
Another area that can have huge impacts on your health is exercise. Many truck drivers feel that they simply do not have the time to get out and exercise for thirty to sixty minutes each day, but if you take a different approach, you will find that getting the time in is easier than you thought.
Instead of trying to cram a long workout into your busy day, break the exercise into smaller bursts. You already pull off the road several times a day, so take advantage of this time and get in smaller 10-minute workout sessions at each stop. The small bursts of exercise will give you lasting energy throughout the day and you will see the positive effects on your health in no time.
Get a good 8 hours of shut-eye
Getting a good nights sleep is something that most truck drivers find to be a myth, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Start with making sure you plan out your day so that you have a safe place to pull over and get eight hours of sleep.
- Keep an eye mask and ear plugs in your cabin to block out distracting light and noise that can wake you up.
- If you are consistently having trouble sleeping at night, you should get tested for sleep apnea.
Consider sleep apnea treatment
Many truck drivers experience poor sleep as a direct result of having sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, invest in a CPAP machine to get better sleep almost immediately. Contact Aeroflow Industrial Clinics to get started with your sleep apnea testing and treatment today.
As a truck driver, it is important to make healthy decisions each day. Living a healthy lifestyle will not only leave you feeling better but will also create more productive driving shifts for you. Do not take your health for granted — make small changes today that will result in a better quality of life tomorrow!