Trucking is exhausting. There’s no other way to put it. Endless hours, repetitive scenery, and strict company deadlines are a brutal team, wearing truckers down into haggard, bleary-eyed zombies by the end of the line. Since there isn’t much truckers can do about those three things, truckers have to create the extra energy themselves. Here are a few things truckers can do to keep alert and stay safe on the roads.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is the number one way to maintain a good level of energy in your life. The exact amount varies from person to person, but 7 to 9 is most people’s magic number for long-lasting, efficient energy. For truckers, sleeping enough present a few unique problems. First, your company likely has you on some strenuous deadlines. These can make it hard to get enough sleep. Still, you’ve just got to have it. Cut some time out somewhere else. Second, long dull hours can leave you with too much energy at the end of the night. Try to counteract this by getting some exercise during the day. Skipping sleep hurts your energy, your appetite, your emotional state, and even your heart. And driving is dangerous even under the best circumstances, according to the Maher Law Firm. Make room for sleep.
Watch It With the Alcohol
A hard drink at the end of the night may seem like a good way to wind down, but it’ll run you ragged in the long run. Drinking too much can leave you cranky, depressed, and worn down. Even one night of overindulgence can destroy the next day’s productivity. Imagine driving 9 hours straight through Nebraska with a killer hangover. Trucks are loud, full of rawkus vibrations, and fast moving. Not the place you want to be when your head is pounding, your stomach feels rotten, you need to make several stops at the bathroom, and the only thing you can think of that would make the pain go away would more booze.
Watch the Caffeine, Too
This isn’t as dangerous as booze, but you should still watch it. Caffeine can be an easy way to start your day. If you need a cup or two once you wake up, go for it. No problem there. But go easy. Late afternoon and evening coffee will destroy your sleep schedule. And far from alertness, coffee can actually make you sloppier with your tasks. Caffeine will make you jittery, nervous, and uncomfortable. You’ll be distracted as driver.
Get a Full Range of Nutrition
Good food leads to good energy. Don’t stop spend your money on fast food. Eat right! Most towns have decent grocery store, and even some gas station stock plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables these days. Keep a regular food schedule, avoid going overboard on starches, meats, and processed food. Eat fruits, get enough protein, and fill up on full grains. Again, this can be hard when you’re on the road. But you’ve got to keep at it. Bad health will wear you down. Less weight on your bones means you’ll need to spend less energy getting yourself around.