Staying Healthy While Working the Night Shift

  • Staying Healthy While Working the Night Shift

    July 21, 2020

    Staying Healthy While Working the Night Shift Our bodies are built to sleep when it's dark outside and wake with the sun. But night-shift workers buck that tradition, often waking up at some point in the afternoon and going to bed when others are starting their day.

    If you're on night shift, it's important to recognize that you're going against your body's natural sleep cycle. Even after years of working nights, the body may never fully adjust , although you can get to a place where you're functioning well. Still, it's important to do what you can to stay healthy to reduce the issues often associated with night-shift work.

    Stay Physically Active

    If you're a medical professional or first responder, chances are, your job keeps you fairly active. But if not, try to work in exercise where you can. Find a gym with hours that are compatible with your schedule or look for small ways to squeeze in activity throughout your shift. Go for a walk during your break or take the stairs instead of the elevator. A fitness tracker can help you determine just how active you are during your waking hours.

    Get Enough Sleep

    It may not be easy, considering your schedule probably differs from others in your life. But even if you're sleeping while the sun is shining, you need to get the recommended seven hours or more each night to be at your best. Choose a sleep schedule and stick to it, working your routine around it. This may mean setting strict boundaries with friends, family members, and neighbors who seem to think the fact that you're off work during the day means you're available.

    Stock Up on Healthy Foods

    It can be tempting to indulge in junk food when you're working those late shifts, especially if you need help staying alert. Instead, buy foods that are high in protein and healthy fats, including eggs, peanut butter, and carrots. Avoid sugar if you can. Although it does give you a short-term energy boost, you pay for it in the form of a crash.

    Avoid Caffeine

    Sure, we all love that first cup of coffee after waking. But like sugar, caffeine's energy benefits are deceptive. If you're relying on caffeine to keep you alert throughout your nightshift, you could start to experience side effects, including dizziness, headache, and irritability. Worst of all, if you're drinking it too close to the end of your shift, you may find it interferes with your sleep when you get home.

    Express Pros works with companies across the country who are hiring night-shift workers. If you're looking for a job, call us at (615) 441-8898 to find out if we have a position that fits your skills and career goals.