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Showing posts with label Sleep Apnea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sleep Apnea. Show all posts

Monday, February 11, 2019

How To Be A Healthy Trucker on the Road This Year

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Any trucker knows that life on the road can take its toll and truck driver health is an ever-growing concern. The strains of the job mean truck drivers often have more health problems than the average joe. Cramped working conditions, lack of quality food and exercise, exposure to dangerous materials, and the effects of stress are just a few of the lifestyle’s hazards.

We know you probably have enough to worry about without the added pressure of keeping up with the typical New Year's’ Resolutions, but even taking small steps every day to improve your health can be critical in the long run.

Whether you’re a driver, a trucking business owner, or just someone who wants to get healthier, we at ExpressTruckTax encourage you to check out these tips for a healthier 2019!

Improve Your Sleep Quality

Getting enough sleep in your daily routine is crucial to your overall well being. One good way to get enough rest is to set a sleep schedule for yourself and your best to stick with it. While getting enough sleep can make you feel happier and healthier overall, a continued lack of sleep can lead an increased risk of heart & kidney disease, high blood pressure & strokes, diabetes, and depression. I can definitely be a challenge when managing your fleet or trying to meet deadlines on the road, but you should always try to get about 8 hours a night.

Many truck drivers suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and more. To avoid these issues, limit your consumption of stimulants and choose a natural sleep aid if necessary.


Eat Healthier Foods

One of the hardest things for many people in the trucking industry to do is make healthy eating choices. The lifestyle lends itself perfectly to quick and convenient food choices, but not necessarily the healthiest ones. When fast food restaurants are so cheap and readily available, it's easy to make poor food choices, but eating healthy road trip snacks on your route isn’t as hard as sounds!

One of the best strategies for eating well is to plan ahead. Purchase your snacks from a grocery store or produce stand before hitting the road where it will be harder to find something decent. Fruits, veggies, nuts, and protein bars are all great snacks that can keep you full on the road, which can help you eat smaller portions for lunch and dinner.

Of course, it’s not always that easy. If you don’t have any healthy snacks and not enough time for something ideal, try to choose from the healthiest options available. These days even most fast food restaurants serve healthier options such as salads and grilled proteins. Healthy meals for truck drivers aren’t as hard to find as you’d think! Just remember - eating when you’re hungry is healthy, just be sure to make healthy choices and not overdo it.


Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is the cause of many different health problems. Your body doesn’t tell your brain that its thirsty until you're already technically in a state of dehydration. When you’re on the road, always keep a bottle with you to sip throughout the day - this will ensure that you’re never dehydrated. Making sure that you’re getting enough water makes you feel better both physically and mentally, help with calories control, prevent fatigue, and improve kidney function! Literally every biological process in your body requires water as fuel, so give it as much as you can!


Sun Health

Due to the stress that hours of staring at the road and exposure to the sun can do to your eyes, keeping a pair of sunglasses in your truck can do wonders. A good pair of sunglasses can help protect your eyes from cataracts, vision loss and keep you from needing to squint. And always apply sunscreen for those longer hauls! Unless you have heavily-tinted windows, you’ll be exposed to ultraviolet rays that can burn and lead to more extreme skin problems if you aren’t careful. 


Get More Exercise

It can be difficult for anyone to fit regular exercise into their schedule at first, let alone those who are stuck on the road or managing a trucking business. But the key to getting enough exercise is figuring out how much or how little works for you. Staying healthy doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym and “working out”. It should be enjoyable and match your abilities. It’s easier than you think to find 10-20 minutes a day to take a walk or do some light stretching on your next stop. And after hours on the road, you’ll be even more glad that you did!


Manage Stress on the Road

Being out on the road for even just a few days away from friends or family can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can then lead to feelings of depression. And while it’s easy enough to stay connected these days with smartphones and social media applications like Skype and Facetime (when you’re not driving), there are some even more interactive ways to stay connected on the road.

Using that smartphone to share photos and stories of your travels is a great way to stay close to your family and friends on the road. If you have children, you can tell them where you’re going and have them look up interesting facts about the places. When you get home, set aside some time to ask them what they learned and then share the photos and stories from your trip there. It will be a great and unique learning experience for them and a memorable bonding experience for you both. And if you’re married, get a book for your spouse and the audiobook version for yourself. When you connect on the phone or social media, you can discuss it together.

Stay Positive!

Don’t give up! Set some realistic goals for yourself that you think you can actually stick with. As an owner operator, you know that good things take time. You’re already on the way to a healthier you just by reading this article! Just stay persistent - At ExpressTruckTax, we’re with you every mile of the road and every step of the way.


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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Did You Know This About the FMCSA Sleep Apnea Screening Rule?

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Aeroflow Industrial recently brought to our attention that a silent killer is lurking on our roads, creeping up on the unsuspecting while they sleep, or at least while they try to. It’s sleep apnea, a condition affecting over 18 million adults across the country.


Sleep apnea often goes unnoticed because it affects you when you sleep. It prevents you from getting the rest you need, so you wake up feeling exhausted. This is especially dangerous for truck drivers because driving tired is the equivalent of driving drunk.

However, truckers may be happy to know that they will face fewer regulations because FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) officially withdrew their proposed sleep apnea screening rule.

The Proposed Sleep Apnea Rule


Currently, medical examiners have the discretion to decide which drivers need to be referred for sleep apnea testing because no rules or regulations are put in place. FMCSA would have given examiners clarity and guidelines to follow.

For example, if you had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or higher you would be referred for sleep apnea testing. You would also be referred for testing if you had a BMI or 33 or higher and met other qualifications like having a collar size greater than 17 inches or having high blood pressure. The total list of qualifications can be viewed here.

Sleep apnea is a serious repository condition that can affect a driver’s abilities to safely operate their vehicle, that’s why sleep apnea screening will most likely become more prevalent in the transportation industry.

Recently in April, former driver Robert J. Parker filed a lawsuit against Crete Carrier Corp, one of the largest based privately-owned trucking companies, claiming that their sleep apnea requirement was unlawful.

The supreme court ruled in Crete’s favor, saying they did not act improperly when they required all drivers with a BMI of 35 or higher to be screened for sleep apnea and to undergo treatment. When Robert refused to be screened he was not given more work. 

A Little About Sleep Apnea


Aeroflow believes that treating sleep apnea is an important safety measure that will save lives and money. Truckers who undergo treatment often have an improved quality of life. Plus, for every $1 spent on sleep apnea testing $3.49 is saved on collision damage costs. One simple test could improve trucker health, safety, and save the U.S. economy about $150 billion. 

Sleep Apnea Testing For Truckers
 Sleep apnea is actually a disorder that causes a person's breathing to become shallow or to stop completely while they sleep. As a result, their brain and body don’t get enough oxygen. If left untreated conditions like diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and more could occur.

You don’t have to be overweight to have sleep apnea. You could have an obstruction in your airways, your neck could be too thin for proper air passage, your tonsils could be large enough to block air flow, and more.

Usually, you don’t know if you have sleep apnea unless you record yourself sleeping or your significant other notices that you snore loudly, gasp, or choke in your sleep. That’s why screening for it is so important. Other symptoms include depression, headaches when you wake up, insomnia, and more.

The test is easy, you go to sleep while being hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart, lung, and brain activity. You can also refer to a sleep apnea questionnaire to assess your risk. Aeroflow will actually review your completed questionnaire and assess your sleep apnea risk. Complete the questionnaire here.

If you have sleep apnea then may be prescribed a CPAP machine or oral breathing device to help you get the oxygen you need. In some cases, you may be asked to lose weight, require surgery, or be put on certain medications. 

Get The Rest You Need


If you get tired be sure to stop to get the rest that you need. Don’t go past your limits. If you regularly wake up feeling fatigued, confused, or with headaches then you may want to consider getting screened for sleep apnea. Also, please share your thoughts about carriers requiring sleep apnea screenings in the comment section below.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com.
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