With the rapid progression in the business sector, more and more companies ask their employees to work night shifts to increase business efficiency and productivity. Even if the night shifts offer high wages, its impact on your health is something you should know.
Have you heard about the circadian system of the body? No? Well, it’s the body’s rhythm that signals our organs to tell when to be active and when to take a rest. The circadian system works just like an alarm clock, telling you the estimated time to get up for the day being productive and when to take the rest.
Now, if you work the night shift, you will incur significant disruption to this circadian system, imposing severe health issues. If you are unaware of the time management during the night shift and take no self-care, you will most likely invite health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
Being a health-conscious person, sure you don’t want that to happen. What’s the solution, you may ask? It’s imperative for you to look after your mental and physical well-being while doing the night shift with some tips and tricks. Here, you will get insight on valuable tips on prioritizing your health when working on untraditional hours. So, let’s start.
Tip 1: Plan And Set Your Sleeping Schedule
You need to develop a sleep routine to ensure consistency in your sleep pattern while preparing your body to work on the untraditional hours of the night shift. For instance, if your night shift involves work as a firefighter or nurse, try getting some sleep between 6 a.m – 10 a.m, provided that you take an afternoon nap between 2 p.m – 4 p.m. Not a nap person? The ideal schedule will be to sleep between 6 a.m and 12 p.m.
Tip 2: Follow Moderate Caffeine Consumption
It’s common for you to drink coffee or tea during the gruelling hours of the night shift to keep yourself energized and awake for the responsibilities at work. However, it’s crucial to remember a moderate caffeine consumption schedule to avoid any health issues and crashing in the middle of your shift. It’s best not to drink or consume coffee or tea after 2 a.m or 3 a.m, as it will help you avoid not being able to fall asleep after getting home in the morning.
Tip 3: Eat Healthy Meals And Stay Hydrated
Your night shifts can become more challenging if you eat foods rich in trans fat and sugar. This is because it destabilizes the blood sugar levels, leading to stomach discomfort. It’s best to stay healthy while working the night shift by bringing snacks like salads, veggies, fruits, or trail mix.
You can choose to stay ahead of schedule by planning and preparing your meals before the week starts. This will help you cut down time spent thinking of what good options can be there for the meal today.
Moreover, it is crucial to stay hydrated while working night shifts. Drinking enough fluids on the night shift will keep you energized and make you stay awake. Also, staying hydrated ensures the bodily functions work appropriately and keeps you healthy.
Tip 4: Do Regular Exercise On A Scheduled Time
If you incorporate and execute a regular exercise routine into your workweek, you will get immense benefits with high energy levels when working night shifts. If your night shift work is related to travel, you may find it challenging to have the motivation to hit the gym. In such cases, you can choose other exercising options like hiking, biking, and more.
Tip 5: Avoid Alcohol Consumption
If you rely on alcohol as a way to fall asleep quicker, it will disrupt and impact the amount of quality sleep you need after the night shift. Even if alcohol is known as the sleep inducer, it will cause an impact on REM sleep, which determines your refreshment level when you wake.
Tip 6: Take Short Nap Breaks
It’s best to benefit from the break times you get by incorporating one or two strategically planned timed naps. This will enable you to stay determined, focus and alert throughout the night shift. The solution is simple: find a dark and quiet place to take a nap for 20-30 minutes.
Tip 7: Limit Exposure To Blue Light
You must know that your sleep hormone and melatonin levels get negatively impacted by blue light emitted from technological devices. It’s best not to use your phone or watch TV before going to sleep after getting home from the night shift to maximize your amount of peaceful sleep.
So, prepare and follow the best sleep schedule along with healthy diet plans to get the best results while working on night shifts. Get the best use of these tips, implement them into your lifestyle, and witness optimal results.