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 Attention Driver: 4 Benefits of Yoga for A Better Night’s Sleep

 Stress and sleep deprivation are closely linked. If you find yourself lacking the quality sleep required in a truck driver’s health, look no further because we’ve got your back. You might be wondering: what trick in the book do they have that I haven’t tried yet? The answer? Trucking yoga! Yoga is an ancient practice of spiritual discipline and scientifically has been proven to benefit those who practice it. It is easy to learn and even easier to teach in your daily life as it takes as few as 10 minutes. Here’s the kicker: you don’t need anything but your body and some space to stretch for you to practice yoga. Let us tell you the benefits of yoga for a better night’s sleep.

Four benefits of yoga for a better night’s sleep

It exhausts your body.

Yoga can be exhaustive to practice as it demands challenging poses that engage your muscles extensively. As your muscles are stretched and held in rigid trucking yoga positions, your energy is focused on the physical excursion. Hence you experience physical fatigue. A tired body will chase sleep, requiring rest, and you’ve already won half the battle.

We suggest practicing Reclined Single-Leg Twist Pose, Savasana (Relaxation Pose), and Legs Up the Wall/Elevated Pose.

 

Benefits of yoga for better nights sleep relaxation pose mother trucker yoga blog

Relaxation Pose

 

It calms nerves and disrupts stressful thoughts.

Calmness and patience are two virtues that trucking yoga enforces on you. Focusing on your breath brings your attention to the present and away from misleading thoughts. It establishes your connection to mindfulness, and once you are visibly calmed, your brain can embrace sleep better. Inculcate positions such as Balasana and Supta Baddha Konasana in your nighttime routine for good truck driver health.

It is one of the most recommended forms of stress relief and helps you unwind within a moment, letting you wander to sleep. Yoga can settle the brain, if not empty it.

  1. It relaxes your nervous system.

Trying poses such as the Standing Forward Bend, Legs Up the Wall/Elevated, and Savasana (Relaxation Pose) increases blood flow to the brain’s sleep center and away from the activity in your nervous system. The blood flow would give way to let your nervous system relax, reducing activity in the brain. This would help you sleep better at night once added to your nightly routine. 

Chair Version of Standing Foward Bend

Chair Version of Standing Foward Bend

Yoga revives the body.

There are two methods in which yoga rejuvenates the boy by helping the release of toxins and increasing the circulation of oxygen in your bloodstream. Toxins build up in tissues and different organs within our body. Incorporating trucking yoga before bedtime helps to release the toxins from your organs and tissues, which the kidneys can later filter. 

Pranayama, a form of disciplined breathing yoga, enforces you to time and control your breathing. This introduces ample oxygen in your bloodstream, replenishing your body and establishing better truck driver health.

Conclusion:

From the concluded results of many university pieces of research to doctor preferences, trucking yoga is an acclaimed method that helps you battle insomnia and untangles the mess in your brain to let you drift off happily. This is how you attain the truck driver health you are looking for, along with the benefits of yoga for a better night’s sleep.

 Can’t Sleep? Top 3 strategies for better sleep for truck driver health 

 Are you getting enough sleep at night? Do you have trouble staying focused during the day? Not having quality sleep can result in worsened health, and it’s as simple as it sounds. Your cognitive functions, ability to stay alert, assess situations, and handle stress are health qualities that are important in many professions, especially truck driver health and those who have long stressful work shifts. So if you’re suffering through bad nights of sleep, we’ve got you covered with our three strategies for better sleep for truck driver health.

Top 3 strategies for better sleep for truck driver health 

  1. Enforce a sleep schedule.

Your brain requires 7-8 hours of sleep to perform its duties efficiently. Usually, you wouldn’t need more than 8 hours in bed to be fully recharged and ready to go. So how do I enforce a sleep schedule on myself for truck driver health

Now for a person with a typical job, I recommend that they go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. However, if you are a truck driver working long late-night hours, these naps are necessary to cover your sleep debt. Try to minimize the time difference on weekends so your body can get used to a consistent and healthy sleep-wake cycle. Eliminate daytime naps as they interfere with your sleep cycles and impact overall agility. 

I understand the above might not work for most drivers. So you have to get creative and try to find some consistency. If your driver time is all over the place, what about your sleep schedule can you be consistent with. Not having screen time 15 – 30 minutes before bed, exercising and getting movement in, not eating a heavy meal before bed, and listening to a relaxing meditation help you relax before bed. Aromatherapy to relax, all of these things can help you get the sleep you need despite your erratic schedule.

sleep schedule mother trucker yoga blog

Pay attention to what you eat and drink.

Here’s the thing: your body has an intimate relationship with everything you eat and drink, so no wonder these habits may leave you restless throughout the night. It would help if you didn’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. 

Avoid having heavy meals right before bedtime as the discomfort may keep you up. Having a snack before rest is wonderful, so long as you are away from highly energizing meals or meals with foods that require a lot of digestion power.

Here are eight foods and drinks to consider before bed if you need that quick snack:

  1. Almonds.
  2. Turkey. Turkey is delicious and nutritious.
  3. Chamomile tea.
  4. Kiwi.
  5. Tart cherry juice.
  6. Fatty fish.
  7. Walnuts.
  8. Passionflower tea.

As for drinks: alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are not your friends. Stay away from beverages that include any of these if you want to have a good night of sleep. Alcohol may leave you feeling drowsy but will disturb you later in the night. Alcohol can also lead to weight gain, other health issues, and other truck driver health issues. Consider drinking in moderation and never when it would cause problems while out on the road. 

 Nicotine is a stimulant, much like caffeine, and will keep you awake when your body heavily needs sleep. You may want to remember that cigarettes introduce nicotine to your system and keep you awake. If you can’t fall asleep, look at your smoking habits. 

Create a calming environment

Here’s the strategy that will certainly help you wind down before bed. Turn off light-emitting devices like phones and TVs at least an hour before the time you intend to sleep. Create an ideal space for sleeping soundly. 

Pick up reading, writing in journals, taking a bath, or listening to calm music with earbuds to relieve stress. The blue light emitted from these disrupts the sleep-wake cycle of the brain. This is important to note as a truck driver’s health is tied to stressful environments.

Every driver needs to find time to take a break, even if it’s a mini-break, to refuel and recharge your body and mind.

Light some scented candles for relaxing effects or leave the room pitch black, whatever fits you best. Make sure your room is the right temperature and comfortable. Don’t lie in bed awake if you can’t sleep within the next twenty minutes. Read or listen to slow sleep-inducing music until you’re fast asleep.

Conclusion:

We have crafted this blog just for you, and if you follow the strategies we’ve mentioned above, you will achieve an A1 truck driver’s health, especially in terms of sleep. With these three strategies for better sleep, you will experience a change; you’ll find yourself at peace and better equipped to do your truck driving duties.

 

Better sleep for truck driver health is essential and within reach for any driver with just one of the strategies above. But if you are looking for more sleep strategies, support, and driver wellness help, check out our NEW Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP. 

You can join for 30 days FREE using the code: MTY30

Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART App and platform image

Stay Healthy While on the Go with These 6 Top Tips for Truckers

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Working as a long-haul truck driver is indeed a challenging and demanding job. Not many people can travel long distances and stay for long periods without seeing their family. With the sedentary and autonomous nature of the job, working as a trucker can lead to you adopting an unhealthy lifestyle.

 

 Most truckers rely on fast food and caffeine to keep them on the go. Staying healthy is not only vital for your wellbeing, but it essentially plays a part in your career.

Stay Healthy While on the go - mother trucker yoga blog

Photo Credit -Photo by Lê Minh from Pexels

 Below are a few tips to consider to improve your health as a trucker;

Eat Healthily

Avoid feasting on junks and grab a couple of fresh produce from a grocery store. You might notice that stores are increasingly creating more space to accommodate vehicles of all nature. Gas stations are also equipping their shelves with nutritious meals.

 

Try your best to consume more vegetables and fruits every day. Fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals that will improve your health and keep you in tip-top shape while on the road.

 

An easier way to gain all your nutrients at once is to blend your fruits into a smoothie. Introducing a vegetable such as kale or spinach will give it that healthy knack. Be sure to include some nuts for you to snack on while on the go.

Exercise

A sedentary position for an extended period of hours is detrimental to your health. Engage yourself in light exercises during pit stops to stretch out your legs and allow blood to circulate freely through your system.

 

A folding bicycle or a pair of running shoes is an excellent way of kick-starting your exercise routine.

 

One of the dangers posed by long-haul driving is pressure build-up in the back. Exercise can help relieve stress and relax your muscles. An advanced form of physical relief would be to seek a chiropractor, whose services will help you keep your back and neck in shape.

 

Sleep

An essential yet most commonly overlooked item when it comes to health is sleep. Good night’s sleep is crucial in allowing your body to adequately rest so that bodily functions can take place with ease.

 

Invest in proper and good quality berth mattresses with the right firmness for a good restful sleep. Make your cabin comfortable enough for you to have at least eight hours of sleep. Ensure you have a portable heater or a fan for when conditions become too extreme in other areas.

 

Engage Your Mind

 

Driving on the road for hours can be tedious and tiring. Engaging your mind can help keep you focused and avoid distractions that might end up causing emotional reactions.

 

Listen to audiotapes of your favorite books and get to learn a few things while on the go. Audiotapes of language lessons can help you learn a new language and have you speaking a foreign language before your destination. Continuously engaging your mind tends to improve your mental health.

 

Long-distance work can heavily impact your family due to the distance but do not let it negatively affect your health. Drive home safely to your family and assure them of wellbeing by practicing the top tips shared.

 

5 Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief

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Several years ago I had sciatica for nearly a year straight. I was seeking sciatica pain relief in the worst way.

It hurt to bend, it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to sleep, it hurt to do just about everything. I thought to myself “is this how the rest of my life is going to be?” The worst thing was – I was a yoga teacher. Having never had any real physical injuries I began to seek relief and care. During my first visit to a chiropractor, we discovered that my pelvis was not level and probably for quite some time. Trying to put things back into place made for a very angry body.

Sciatica Relief Hope Zvara and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

As someone early into teaching yoga I vowed to help others dissolve pain because no one should have to live with pain like this on a daily basis. Through improving my posture, building stability in my frame as well as building muscle and staying mobile slowly my sciatica disappeared. But over the years it tries to rear its annoying head and with my toolbox in place, I know exactly what to do to dissolve the symptoms and find relief once again.

If you have ever had it, you know it. That pain that can knock you off your feet. That pain can derail you dead in your tracks. That nerve pain that can be so excruciating that you are flat on the floor praying it will pass.

WHAT IS SCIATICA:

I think it is important to first describe what sciatica is and what it is not. Sciatica is a pain and nerve sensation that can travel through the glute down the leg, past the knee into the calf. Sciatica has a number of causes some of them being injury (to the lower back), ruptured disk, bulging disk, spinal injury, and spinal stenosis. Sciatica is most cases originates from the lower back, and most true sciatica cases are caused by spinal injuries or issues.

WHERE IS THE SCIATIC NERVE:

The sciatic nerve is a nerve that originates in the lower back on either side of the spine. It runs through the buttocks and into the hips before branching down each leg. In some cases, the sciatic nerve runs under or through the piriformis muscle.

This nerve is the longest nerve in the body and provides sensation to the outer leg and foot. Sciatica is nerve pain that runs through the buttocks, down the back of the leg and into the ankle or foot.

WHAT IS PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME:

Piriformis syndrome although it feels similar they are not. Piriformis syndrome often originates from the glute (hip buttocks) area, where sciatica originates from the lower back.

Piriformis syndrome causes sciatica-like symptoms when piriformis muscle pinches down on the sciatic nerve and causes pain just like sciatica: burning, tingling, shooting pain especially when sitting. However piriformis pain often does not travel below the knee, whereas sciatica will.

Both sciatica and piriformis are not a condition as much as they are symptom caused by another problem: a herniated disc, lower back injury, tight piriformis/hip muscles, pelvis or hip pain/injury, or misalignment. While most try to treat the symptoms it is critical to look to the root cause and try to find relief starting there.

Dr. Mark Kovacs, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, adds that the best way to alleviate most sciatica pain is to do “any stretch that can externally rotate the hip to provide some relief.”

5 STRETCHES FOR SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF:

KNEES INTO THE CHEST:

Knees into chest stretch sciatica MTY Blog

FIGURE FOUR STRETCH

Figure Four Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

FIGURE FOUR STRETCH SEATED

Walking Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

COBRA

Cobra MTY BLog Sciatica

STANDING CALF STRETCH

Calf Stretch MTY Blog Sciatica

WHEN TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP:

Sometimes, you’ll need to actively seek the help of a chiropractor for sciatica. But under what circumstances should you do this? 

You should see a professional if you have: 

  • Pain that radiates from your lower lumbar spine to your buttocks and down your legs
  • Pain along your nerve pathways anywhere else
  • Sharp pains or mild burning pains
  • Prolonged pain after sitting

Please note that if you have sudden severe sciatic pain, you should visit your doctor.

SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF TREATMENT:

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream is an excellent means for pain relief. Applying three to four times a day over the area of pain for immediate and long-lasting relief. The ingredients in Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream specifically target the affected area and provide cooling and warming relief, increased blood flow, and decreased inflammation. (Shop Now)

Stiff Mother Trucker Chart

Chiropractic care can be extremely helpful during a sciatica flare-up. When you find a good chiropractor he or she can help you realign your bones to give space for your body to begin to find relief. However, it is my own experience over the last 20 years working with thousands of people that chiropractic care alone will do very little for most. When the body is tight, stiff, and has created its own patterns in the fascia, resetting a bone using chiropractic practices can feel like a revolving door.

Consider coupling this form of treatment with massage therapy, yoga, stretching, or physical therapy to retrain your body to move, sit, and hold in different ways.

Ice treatments can be helpful immediately after you begin to feel the pain. Icing the glute if it is piriformis syndrome or the lower back and hip area if it is due to a lower back injury causing sciatica. Try 20 minutes of ice on and off for the first three or four days.

Heat is acceptable a few days after the flare-up begins. Using heat immediately may cause more aggravation.

SCIATICA PREVENTION:

Some people are unfortunately nearly 40% of people will end up feeling the effects of sciatica than others, and many it can be reoccurring.

 “People who suffer from acute or chronic back pain tend to be more susceptible to sciatica,” says Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Your risk also rises if you’re obese, if you smoke, or if you’re sedentary.”

An article from Bud and Tony’s Truck Parts on back pain stated that:

  • Awkward and uncomfortable sitting postures
  • Lifting
  • Repetition
  • Body vibration
  • Leaning, hunching, and rounding
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of physical fitness

Bud and Tony's Truck Parts

It is not always possible to prevent sciatica. However, some lifestyle modifications, increase in regular exercise(s), improving core strength and movements throughout the day can help. In addition, regularly walking, using supportive devices for driving and desk work like BackShield and supportive sleeping can significantly help reduce a person’s risk of experiencing sciatica again.

In general, regular exercise and building a strong core may help prevent sciatica. Additionally maintaining a good posture while sitting and standing is important, and may make people less likely to develop sciatica than people with poor posture. Consider working with Mother Trucker Yoga to learn how to improve posture, exercises you can do directly from the cab and driver’s seat of your rig to help prevent and keep sciatica symptoms at bay. And inside our platform, you’ll get detailed step by step videos of the moves above!

 

Sleep Over the Road: 7 Yoga Poses for Bedtime Bliss

Have you ever tried to get sleep while traveling over the road? If so then typically bedtime is not something you would describe as bliss by any means.

But what if there was something you could to to help even just a little bit, take the edge off falling asleep?

Would you try it?

What about for one week, seven nights, to see if it would help you fall asleep?

It can be difficult to sleep anywhere, but when your sleeping quarters consist of a small cubicle on wheels parked next to an idling truck or busy highway. It can be even more difficult.

I have been working with individuals for nearly 20 years with all sorts of ailments, issues and concerns and sleep is one of the top complaints. Yoga or yoga like practices can help dramatically help those choosing to practice fall asleep faster and sleep more restful.

We all need a few minutes each day to decompress, clear our mind, but even more so, stretch and relieve tension from our physical body.

When we choose to not do those things it can be difficult to turn our mind off, relieve that nagging back pain that will keep you up all night. And most importantly we all need some sort of practice to help our central nervous system relax and reset as well.

Or we may end up reliving today, tomorrow all over again.

Here are Mother Trucker Yoga’s Top 7 Moves For a Better Sleep Over the Road:

Bedtime Yoga Pose #1: Standing Stress Relief Forward Bend

Trucking Standing Forward Bend Bedtime

Standing Stress Relief Forward Bend

With soft knees, exhale roll your body forward clasping opposite elbows, allowing your head to hand heavy.
Remain here with your eyes soft (or closed) for five to ten breaths. Inhale, gently roll up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #2: Daily Devotional

Trucking Back Stretch Bedtime

Daily Devotional

Feeling gratitude for the day exhale, sit back towards the heels, knees as wide as comfortable, outstretch the arms and relax the head, feel your breath and you continually soften your entire body from the day. Remain here up to one minute. (Feel free to place a rolled blanket or block between the heels to sit on)

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #3: Bound Angle Bedtime Back Stretch

Trucking Bound Angle Back Stretch Bedtime

Bound Angle Bedtime Back Stretch

Place the bottoms of the feet together.

Exhale roll your body forward allowing your arms to reach outward feeling length and release through your hips and entire spine.

Don’t worry about how far you can fold or reach.

Remain here breathing calmly for up to one minute.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #4: Driver Hip Flexor Release

Trucking Hip Stretch Bedtime

Drivers Hip Flexor Release

Place block or stack of hand towels or even a pillow placed under your sacrum.

Gently draw your right knee in to your chest as you reach out through the opposite heel.

Working to keep your hips stable. Feel length and release in the hip flexor (front of the hip), remain in the stretch breathing calmly for up to one minute.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #5: Bound Angle Bedtime Bliss

Reclined Bound Angle Trucking Bedtime Pose

Bound Angle Bedtime Bliss

Place a block or stack of hand towels or a pillow under the sacrum.

Let the knees fall open and the bottoms of the feet come together. Adjust the feet from the pelvis to accommodate the knees.

Breathe deeply and your body falls away from the stress of the day. Remain here for one to two minutes.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #6: Taming Tension Release Breath

Trucking Bedtime Tension Release

Taming Tension Release Breath

Seated, draw the arms outward from your body.

Inhale through the nose and mindfully drop your breath into your heart.

Retain the breath and silently repeat “I willingly and consciously release all harmful tension”.

Now exhale visualize the tension rolling down the arms and out the palms like toxic waste.

Repeat this for three to six times and then take three to six natural breaths. Repeat as necessary.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #7: Full Body Bedtime Breath

Relaxation Pose Trucking Bedtime

Full Body Bedtime Breath

Lying on the floor or in your bed, separate your legs and turn your palms to face up; inhale and imagine drawing the breath up through your feet, legs, pelvis, abdomen, throat and to the crown of the head.

Exhale and draw the breath back down the entire body being mindful of each body part the breath travels through all the way out the bottoms of the feet. Repeat this three to ten times feeling more and more deeply relaxed.

And make sure you are doing this on a quality mattress. Because every driver deserves a better bed. Good night!

You may have read this and are thinking “I can’t do yoga”. Then I want to encourage you to not look at it as yoga. But look at it just like brushing your teeth. The long term effects of not brushing your teeth are, you will lose your teeth.

The long term effects of not giving yourself even just five minutes of stress relieving, sleep educing activities will leave you sleepless, agitated, and at risk of getting into an accident because you are not fully able to drive that eighteen wheeler down the road safely.

To help you even further check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s audio made just for relaxation of body and mind.

And for reading and sharing this blog post you can grab it:

>>>HERE<<<for FREE by using the code: MTYSLEEP

Count Breath Meditation