In many sectors, night shifts are simply a way of life – from the emergency services, to healthcare providers, right through to factory production lines that never shut down. Many workplaces offer rotating shifts too, meaning that you could also be doing a mix of both day and night shifts (although hopefully not simultaneously!).
The problem with night shifts though is that even though the extra pay can be seriously handy, it is not such a great thing for our bodies, since it is simply not natural to be forced to stay awake, and under electric lighting too. Find out how you can stay healthy even with night shift work.
Get plenty of sleep
Many people working on night shifts often end up with a really bad sleep deficit, and that’s because they’re still trying to stay awake for most of the day, and are subsisting on only 4-5 hours’ sleep. This simply isn’t enough, so make sure you get at least 7 hours sleep after your night shift which will provide your body with what it needs.
Go to bed straight away (but have a small snack first)
And no dilly dallying when you finish work – it should be straight to bed for you to get some precious shuteye! Have a small snack (like a sandwich or cereal), and then go to bed. Getting into this routine will really help you maximise the amount of sleep that you can catch up on.
Adjust your central heating timer
If you struggle to wake during the cold seasons, especially in winter, adjust your boiler’s thermostat at a comfortable temperature so when you wake up in the middle of the night you are not feeling freezing. It is a small tip but can help you roll out of your bed in no time!
Invest in some sleep aids
Especially during bright summer days, trying to sleep during the day through the sound of lawnmowers and birds tweeting can be taxing, so invest in some sleep aids. Blackout blinds and curtains are a must, as are an eye mask and ear plugs.
It’s all about good quality and plenty of sleep when you’re on night shifts, so stay on track with these tips!