6 tips for fighting fatigue and stress as a truck driver

Post Date - Jan 30, 2023

Being a long-haul truck driver can be physically and mentally taxing. On top of all the pressures that come with the job, it's easy to fall into a pattern of fatigue, low energy and stress. Here are some tips from NTB for fighting fatigue, boosting energy and reducing stress as a CDL-A truck driver:

1. Get Adequate Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep is essential for maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Set yourself up for success by committing to a consistent sleep routine — this means going to bed at the same time or close to the same time each night and avoiding disruptions such as blue-light screens or caffeine late in the day. If you consistently have trouble sleeping or feel fatigued despite getting enough rest, speak to your doctor about your symptoms as they may indicate an underlying condition or medical issue that needs addressing.

2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to fatigue and sluggishness, so ensure you're drinking plenty of water throughout the day and when taking breaks from driving. While this is especially important during warmer months, it’s also vital when it’s cold outside and you spend most of your time bundled up or in arid environments. Keep a full water bottle with you at all times!

3. Listen to Music, Favorite Podcast or Audiobook

When you’re singing along with your favorite tunes or listening to an entertaining or informative podcast, your spirits seem to automatically lift and worries fade into the background. Also, if you find an engaging audiobook, you’ll look forward to driving so that you can find out what happens next in the story. Of course, you always have to stay focused on the road while you listen!

4. Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly is not only good for your physical health but it can also help reduce stress levels and boost energy levels — both essential for fighting fatigue on long drives! Try incorporating light stretching or yoga into your daily routine before getting behind the wheel if possible, and make sure to take regular breaks from driving when you need them — even just five minutes every few hours can make a world of difference!

5. Practice Breathing Exercises

It may seem too easy but deep breathing exercises are an effective way to relax and reduce stress. This simple technique can be practiced anywhere, at any time — making it the perfect go-to tool for managing stress levels when life on the road gets overwhelming. Here’s how you can use deep breathing to relax and reduce stress: Start by finding a comfortable position in your cab. Once you're settled in, close your eyes if it feels comfortable and take a few moments to feel the natural rhythm of your breath. Take slow, deep breaths through your nose and count each inhalation (1-2-3-4) as it comes in and each exhalation (1-2-3-4) as it leaves. Focus on each breath and let your thoughts drift away if they come up. Release any tension throughout your body as you exhale — imagine any tightness melting away like butter — until you begin to feel more relaxed, calm and present with each passing breath. Continue this cycle of mindful breathing until you feel ready to slowly open your eyes again!

6. Improve your professional outlook

If a source of stress for you is driving for a carrier that doesn’t seem to care about your growth, safety and contribution, then we invite you to take a closer look at NTB! We have regional run opportunities that offer generous pay and ample home time. Connect with us today to learn more about NTB’s career opportunities!