10 Best Tips To Stay Healthy While Working Night Shift
If you are a night owl, night shift jobs might seem like a dream to you! Until you realize your new lifestyle really impacts your health! Many professionals have difficulty staying up during their night shift jobs and they often tend to forget their health in the journey. This is completely understandable because a change in your shifting time can really affect your lifestyle. As your daily routine changes, you are more likely to skip your meals, get addicted to unhealthy junk foods, sleep less, and ditch exercise.
Your work may anything in this category: you might be a security guard, customer service representative, air traffic controller, nightlife bartender, IT professional, LPN, ADN, or RN to BSN nurse or you can even be a firefighter! We all live our lives in a routine of nature’s clock! Changing your routine into a night shift might seem hard, but here are 10 tips to keep up with your health and being productive through your entire shift!
1. GET AS MUCH AS SLEEP YOU CAN
Get as much as sleep you can get! According to the sleep foundation, adults (ages between 26 – 64) need to have at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep to perform at their best. Manage your sleep patterns, set a time to sleep and wake up, and follow this schedule! Stay away from activities that will make you awake! Avoid alcohol before going to bed, alcohol may help you to fall asleep but it will deeply affect your sleep quality. And also avoid smoking before bedtime!
2. STOCK UP ON HEALTHY FOODS
Stick with a high protein food diet. Do include more vegetables, fruits, peanut butter, nuts, and other healthy foods. Stock up healthy foods and try to stick to a healthy food pattern! Eat healthy snacks or light meals. It will be good to choose foods that are easy for your body to digest.
3. DRINK MORE WATER
Drink plenty of water. Always keep a full bottle of water with you before your shift starts, this will serve as a visual reminder to drink more water! We often forget to drink water, so consider setting an alarm for every 30 minutes during your shift! Replace sugared or caffeinated drinks with water! Fruit-infused water bottles are a healthy option, you may want to consider the following combinations: lemon, cucumber-lime, strawberry-kiwi, and cucumber-blueberry!
4. EXERCISE APPROPRIATELY
Exercising can keep your health good! Night shift workers should avoid early morning workouts because this will make you even harder fall in sleep and you will be weak all day. Take stairs and walk up and down during your break time or shifts, this will be a good exercise for your body and as well as this will help you to stay awake.
5. STICK TO A SCHEDULE
Stick to a good schedule and follow this! Set a timer for when you will wake up, sleep, what you’ll eat, when do you, when do you prepare your foods, when to socialize and all. It may difficult to seem to follow, but not following a strict schedule will affect your health and sleep! Stick to a healthy food diet, if you’re eating too much during your night shift, chances you will gain weight in the long run!
6. CUT DOWN THE CAFFEINE
Stay away from tea, soda, coffee, or any other caffeinated drinks which will interfere with your sleeping routine. On your break time, drink orange juice to keep you active during your shift, orange juice is also a good source of protein! If you are feeling too sleepy, take a walk around the office, listen to your favorite song, chat with your colleagues, do exercise in your break hours, wash your face or just go out and feel some fresh air.
7. STOP UNHEALTHY SNACKING
One of the issues with working during a night shift is feeling sleepy or tired and hungry at random times! Avoid junk foods or any many sweet foods! Energy foods are the first to be eliminated from your list! Do not cook and store your foods for a longer time! Stay away from foods that take more time to digest. Avoid spicy, fried, or processed meals.
8. SET A SUPPORT NETWORK
All of your loved ones should know that you are working the night shift job, so let them know your time schedule also. List a close friend or your roommate or your neighbor as an immediate contact person, so you can switch off your phone when you are sleeping! If anything emergency happens, they will contact them. A sleep study proved that what we have suspected – people who have their phone on in the room where they sleep will have a hard time falling asleep!
9. SET AN ENVIRONMENT TO SLEEP
Changing your sleep pattern can really reflect your health! Keep the environment in your room cool! Your eyes are sensitive to light, even when the window is closed, it prevents you from dozing off. To get the best sleep, darken your bedroom by investing in darker shades of blinds, and other room furniture! Do avoid continuous use of sleeping pills or any other medications, which interfere with normal sleep patterns. Invest in a box fan or white noise machine to block down the outside noises!
10. PLAN B
Always set a plan B! It’s just a simple rule, Health Before Job! You might currently be working in a position where you wish you wanted to be, BUT if your dream job costs your health, always follow plan B! You can either request for your higher officials to change your shift time, or look for another job! Not everyone is adaptable to changing their routine, it may cause serious health issues in some people! It might seem hard for you, but if you didn’t follow this rule, there will be a time when you regret for not choosing a plan B!
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