night shifts

Smart Tips to Work Night Shifts Effortlessly

Do you live a reverse lifestyle doing night shifts? Night shift workers are usually at the risk of weight gain and developing cardiac diseases in the long run if they are not careful. Follow a healthy schedule to ensure you are at your best when you have to do night shifts.

You need to be fit and healthy to survive night shifts. You also need to reset your circadian clock.

Preparing for your first night shift

  • Exercise a few days before your first night shift like swimming, jogging, brisk walking or a workout. Then go ahead and get a good night’s sleep.
  • A couple of days before your first night shift, train your body to get used to night shift by staying up late involved in an activity that will keep your brain awake such as chatting with your friend who lives in a different time zone or watching a thriller movie and sleep during the day for seven to eight hours.
  • If you are on rotation, try to move towards the night shift gradually by moving from day shift to evening shift and then to the night shift to enable your body to adjust.

Staying healthy during night shifts

  • Before your shift, have a full meal. Also, drink water and carry a big water bottle with you and keep taking sips during the shift to hydrate your body.
  • Eat wholesome foods to keep your body fit and healthy. Ensure you stock up on healthy foods at home and in your office.
  • Avoid junk food at work when you are tired. Instead pick up a fruit, some nuts or veggies for a snack. Snack on healthy foods every few hours to keep your metabolism high.
  • Organize regular meal times, with three main meals and three small meals a day. Have a healthy breakfast as soon as you reach home and lunch when you wake up. Have your dinner before you start work.
  • Pack some healthy snacks for work. Protein foods are a good choice as they keep you feeling full.
  • Be on the move for three minutes at intervals during the shift to ensure your body gets enough exercise and you are not sitting down in front of the computer for long hours.
  • Ensure you get good sleep for eight hours during the day.
  • Create a nighttime ambience to sleep well. Draw the curtains, wear earplugs and an eye mask and close your bedroom door while going to sleep.
  • When you get home during daybreak, don’t go to sleep at once. Relax a while, watch TV or do some chores at home. You will start feeling sleepy soon.
  • Try to organize points of sync with your family members so that you are in the loop about what’s going on with your kids, wife and other family members.
  • Do your personal chores such as making calls, paying bills, overseeing your child’s homework, etc., when you are most alert, which is the time you reach home.
  • Regular exercise is indispensable as exercise releases feel good hormones and helps you get sleep naturally. Do your exercise after you are well rested and at least 2-3 hours after your meal.
  • Avoid alcohol or sleeping pills to get sleep. To sleep well, relax your body, listen to soothing music or read a pleasant book. Don’t involve yourself in any activity that stimulates your mind or keeps your brain alert.
  • Limiting your caffeine intake works well. Don’t have coffee, especially during the latter part of your night shift. Caffeine is not only addictive and disturbs your circadian rhythm, it is also a diuretic and you may have to get up to use the restroom after you have gone to sleep.
  • If you feel sleepy or tired after a night shift, don’t drive back home. Take a cab.
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Swati Amar calls herself ‘the write person’ precisely because she claims her brain starts functioning only when her fingers dance over the computer keyboard. Gripped by an obsessive compulsion to write, her day is incomplete until she has ‘keyed’ in a few lines. Moving from counting money as an erstwhile banker in State Bank of India, Swati has been counting words for more than fifteen years. She has contributed copiously to various print and online publications in English and Tamil, numbering over 15K articles on varied subjects. Swati Amar swears allegiance to the Chennai Press Club and prides on her experience as a media entrepreneur and consultant, never losing a ‘write’ opportunity. Swati’s favorite pastime is to watch News on television, read, revel in melody, doodle and dawdle and follow the footsteps of global chefs when time permits. She believes that a good laugh peps up one’s life! And the write words too…