There are many professions in the world that require you to work full-time in night shifts. Some even involve working in rotational shifts, which is even worse in terms of its adverse effects. While working on shifts, your eating habits and sleeping patterns can take a toll. Then what is the solution to this problem? Do you have to quit your job and look out for other alternatives? Not necessarily. You can follow these simple tips to avoid night shifts taking a toll on your health.
Prepare and take food from home
Don’t rely on vending machines or takeaways for dinner and snacks. Instead, carry your own lunch boxes. This way, you can stop yourself from binging on unhealthy food. Weight gain is one of the primary issues that people face while working on shifts.
Cut down on caffeine while on night shifts
Make sure that you stop your caffeine intake at least 6 hours before your shift ends. Too much of caffeine interrupts your sleeping pattern which already goes haywire while working in night shifts. For drink, rely on green tea or other better alternatives than caffeine.
Do mild stretching or take a walk during your shift
Sitting glued to your office chair is neither going to boost your productivity or do anything for your health. It is advised to take a 10-15 minutes break every two hours and take a walk up and down the stairs. If that’s not possible, do mild stretching on your work station itself.
Use blackout curtains or mask while sleeping
Due to working in night shifts, the circadian rhythm is already disrupted. Then what’s the way out to get your daily share of 8-hour sleep? When you reach home, have a mild breakfast. Use blackout curtains in your bedroom to block the daylight. Use earplugs to block out the daytime noises. Keep your room cool and dark.
Keep your smartphone on Do Not Disturb mode before going to bed
Keep your smartphone on silent or DND mode before going to bed. The constant ringing and beeping of smartphone can disrupt your sleep. Remember, you worked in night shift, not your friends. They might end up pinging you on social media. For your family, keep an alternate number and ask them to call only if there’s an emergency.
Wear sunglasses while travelling back home after a night shifts
The sunlight can disturb your circadian rhythm which responds to light. Being in bright light can put you on the active mode, making it harder to fall asleep when you get back home. Blocking the bright daytime light can help you sleep better after getting back home. Keep your house dimly-lit after coming back home. Don’t indulge in watching TV or using a smartphone. The blue light from these devices can throw your circadian rhythm off the track.
Some people go easier through the shifts at night while others have troubles. Every person is made differently. With the right combination of techniques, you can prevent your night shifts becoming a health hazard.