Do you work in night shift…here are an insight on it to help you cope up and lead a healthy life even being in night shift. Sleep is the cost we pay for working in night shift, but you can get it back on track with some lifestyle modifications.
Working in shifts isn’t easy as it involves working against your body clock. It is difficult personally as well as socially. You need to be active and alert at night when your body is designed to sleep — and need to sleep in the day when you’re desired to be awake.
Many shift workers are also driving at times when their body clock tells them to sleep — research has shown that shift workers are six times more likely to be in a fatigue-related road accident than other workers.
Work wise we find 2 types of working shift
- Fixed night shift
- Rotational in which periodically day and night shift is being rotated
The fixed one is better as it is of stable nature while the rotational one needs some special preparations to cope up. Constant swinging of body clock disturbs the internal mechanism of body.
It is very important to understand how to get ready for night shift, keep the momentum going on and swing back to day shift working. Here are few points which need to be grasped well to sail through.
Preparing for the start of night shift
- Do something very active in morning so that you get fatigued and it induces sleep in day time a day before, and try waking up in night, even watching a film on TV or chatting with friends will do, but ensure that you are awake from 3 AM to 6 AM.
- Go to bed as usual the night before , sleep in until late morning, have a big feed for lunch then go back to sleep for an afternoon/evening nap and then stay awake in night by getting engaged in TV or chatting.
While working in night shift
- Drinking enough water is an absolute number one advice. As temperatures are cool in night you will never know when your body is getting dehydrated and needs water.
- Like in day shift you start feeling sluggish in second half of the day, so is true for night. You must see that you drink tea or coffee every 2-3 hours to reduce your chance of getting asleep.
- If you feel like not to drive, then DON’T drive. Get a public transport, taxi or phone a friend.
Relaxing during night shift
- Your body reacts to sunlight. Wear dark glasses while being at home, get the home fitted with dark curtains; get an eye mask. This will stimulate you to sleep in day hours.
- Avoid artificial light – constantly checking your phone or working on laptop or long watching of TV in day will worsen your sleep.
- As the world is moving so there will be noises all around in the day and you need to sleep, invest in soft ear plugs which will help you to cut the noise.
- Don’t use alcohol to help you sleep. It is a sleep inducer but it will disrupt your working in night.
- Don’t make any commitment during the day till the time you get a good sleep – you are living your life in reverse. Take time in evening for friends, dating, moving around and collecting deliveries. (Just think would you allow anyone to come to you at 2 AM in night while being in day shift? So how do you think of entertaining any one at 2 PM when in night shift after all it is similar to mid night thing for you.)
Switching from night to day shift
There are many turnaround styles to consider. Just make sure you get the amount of sleep you need before you go on to take day shift functioning for the reversal.
- After the last nights of the period go home have a heavy breakfast and have a four hour sleep. When wake up get some daylight exposure, have fun around and retard to bed at your usual time for night sleep.
One more thing never take sleeping pills to induce sleep if getting troubled take a book try to read and it will make you sleep. If there are serious sleeping concerns do consult your physician.
The article was scripted to address more than 20% of population who work in rotational or fixed night shift, the suggestions may be helpful to you too, we would like to get your feedback on your experience so do comment…
Stay well, sleep long, prosper and relish your life.