It’s no secret that trucking is a very demanding job that can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. A lot of truck drivers find themselves feeling sluggish on almost a daily basis. There are a variety of reasons why truckers may feel this way but here are the top 5 reasons that could cause sluggishness in a truck driver:
1) Lack of Sleep
Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to be able to perform at their highest level. One problem with trucking is that it can be hard to get the optimal amount of sleep. At the very least, try to get no less than 6 hours of sleep.
According to Shawn Stevenson’s book Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success, you get the most rejuvenating sleep during the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM, which he calls “Money Time”. Make sure you are asleep during the “money time” if at all possible to give yourself less of a chance of feeling sluggish on the road the next day.
You may be feeling sluggish due to dehydration. When you don’t get enough water in your body, your cells get dehydrated and pull water out of your bloodstream. When this happens, your blood thickens and causes your brain and heart to not work efficiently causing you to feel sluggish.
There is a simple formula to determine how much water you should drink on a daily basis. Take your weight and divide it by two. That will equal the minimum amount of water you should be drinking on a daily basis. If you weigh 200 pounds, you should be aiming to drink 100 ounces every day.
3) Sugary Breakfasts
You probably know that sugar is not the greatest thing for your body but consuming high amounts of sugar to start your day is even worse. This starts you on a short energy high followed by a dramatic crash that causes you to feel sleepy and sluggish.
Instead, you should eat something that is high in protein for breakfast and avoid the sugar. According to Wired, studies show that protein rich breakfasts improved cognitive performance. Forget the cereal, pancakes, and sugary oatmeals. Try starting the day with some real protein!
4) Zoning Out
When you are driving for long hours at a time, it can be easy to zone out and for your brain to get bored. Try listening to some podcasts or radio shows that talk about things you are interested in learning more about. This will keep your brain active and you will feel better while you are on the road.
5) No Prepared Snacks (or Lack of Healthy Snacks)
A lot of drivers fall into the trap of eating 3 times a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You start to get hungry in those times between meals, which causes you to make unhealthy choices and eat more. To avoid doing that, you need to prepare healthy snacks to eat between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. Doing so will make sure you prevent yourself from the sluggish feeling after eating a lot of unhealthy food for one of your main meals.
Try eating some snacks like nuts, avocados, veggies, fruits, etc. These will give you some needed healthy fats and keep you from food cravings.