Health Tips for those Working the Night Shift

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Sleep is one of the most important factors affecting our productivity. Anyone who has a sleepless night or crashed late at night can testify that the following morning is always the most unproductive. Not only that, but there are also considerable health risks involved when you don’t get enough sleep at night.

This is especially true in the case of the people working the night shifts. With industry and business growth around the world, workers and employees have had to step up and work the night shifts, irrespective of profession, in order to meet demand.

When you don’t get enough sleep working the night shift there is a higher chance of developing mental health issues, mood disorders, insomnia, heart diseases, and certain cancers. There is also a great chance of developing metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity, especially if you eat unhealthy snacks and avoid moving around.

You have to know these risks when working the night shift, so you can take better care of yourself. This blog will help you find that perfect balance between work productivity and leading a healthy lifestyle.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy and Productive:

A healthy lifestyle is the most potent medicine at your disposal.”

Your mental and physical well-being when working the night shift depends on your knowledge and awareness of how to stay healthy. As the quote above suggests, the key to living healthy in any situation is to make the right lifestyle choices.

1. It’s the Job

The stress of the nursing job is real and can often lead to burnout. Therefore, nurses have to be taught destressing strategies earlier on, so they can have the right mindset and tools at their disposal.

Few nursing degrees are as thorough and as flexible as the online bachelor of science in nursing, which will not only make you a credentialed nurse but you will also get finish the course material at your own pace.

2. Managing Sleep schedules

We, humans, are diurnal species, designed to be productive during the day and rest during the night. However, the night shifters have to stay up all night and get their sleeping hours in during the day.

To endure the grueling night shift, it’s important to have an effective sleeping routine. A minimum of 4 to 6 hours of sleep is necessary. If your shift ends at midnight or in the early hours of the morning, try to reach your bed as quickly as you can and prioritize getting your snoozes in.

3. Eat and Drink Healthy

Employees working the night shift have fewer healthy food and drink options to choose from during their shifts. Consuming fat and carbohydrates at night lead to obesity and other metabolic diseases.

It is recommended that night shift employees pack their food from home. They should choose low-carb foods, nuts, fruits, and salads. If you lack time to prepare meals every day, just meal prep in bulk for the entire week.

Throughout the shift, make sure you are drinking enough water. If you need a caffeine boost to get you through the shift, drink in moderation, but absolutely refrain from drinking coffee toward the end of your shift, as it might prevent you from falling asleep when you reach home.

4. Exercise regularly

An average adult should exercise 3 to 4 times per week. Exercise doesn’t only help with weight loss, but it should be the integral part of an active life.

Contrary to what you might think, exercise doesn’t deplete you of energy, but in fact it helps you feel rejuvenated, strong, active, focused, and ready to take on work. Find yourself the right type of physical activity, i.e., resistance training, hiking, cycling, or cardio.

5. Create a routine

Create and follow a routine, as no lifestyle change can hold up for long without a proper routine to back it up. A good routine helps you stick to your ideal sleep patterns, workouts, and hobbies. Having everything about your day laid out plainly in the form of a routine ensures that your life is well balanced.

  • Prioritize Self-Care

When swamped with work, people often forget the need to take care of their health, which causes, among other things, their mental health to suffer. You should take the time to prioritize yourself. Take out time to invest in your own self by treating yourself in your favorite restaurant, read a book, and going to the cinema.

  • Get your friends and family on board

Healthy relationships are based on sound boundaries. Make sure your family/roommates are aware of your lifestyle changes and that they respect and consider your schedule timings when making plans.

Post your work and sleep schedules on the fridge, so everyone in the house knows your hours of work, sleep and waking. Even though, you might not get much of it, try to spend as much time as your night shift allows you with the family, so you are connected with your loved ones and can, therefore, emotionally feel supported and loved.

Final Thoughts

Given the rise in business demand, night shifts are here to stay and will continue to pose health risks for the workers. But with a few lifestyle changes, i.e., in sleeping and eating, you can ensure that the night shift doesn’t affect you that much. You should also treat yourself whenever you can, and stay connected with your loved ones outside of work hours.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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