Are you interested in working a job with night shifts, but unsure of how well you’ll handle the transition? There’s no denying that third-shift jobs can take a toll on your body. However, making some healthy lifestyle adjustments can help you successfully navigate night shifts in a way that’s best for you physically and mentally. Check out these three tips for establishing a healthy lifestyle for working the night shift.
While it may be tempting to spend your daylight hours awake, it’s essential that you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep during the day so you have enough energy to work throughout the night. Failing to get ample rest is bound to have many harmful effects on your body and performance on the job.
Over the course of even just a few days with less sleep, your body can start to crash, causing you to feel fatigued and unfocused while performing your job responsibilities. Not only can this severely weaken your immune system but it may also impact your decision making on the job. Being tired can be detrimental to performing many job functions safely, such as operating forklift equipment or other machinery. Establishing a sleep routine and sticking to it will allow you to feel rested and refreshed for the entire duration of your evening shift.
If you work evening shifts and need to rest during the day, you may feel you have limited time to spend with family or fulfill other obligations. It’s imperative you create a schedule that works for you and your commitments, setting aside time each week for things like grocery shopping, exercise and attending your children’s activities.
The key to effective time management is to set realistic expectations for the obligations you can fulfill and to avoid stretching yourself too thin. It’s also important that your family and friends understand and respect your schedule, so that your time with them can be planned accordingly.
Sleeping during daylight hours can often be a challenge for many people new to nighttime shifts, and addiction to technology can make this transition especially difficult. Getting into the habit of unplugging from your cell phone and computer before going to bed will set you up for most restful sleep.
In general, it’s best to turn off your electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed so you can give your body time to unwind. Eliminating distractions like social media or texting will help you fall asleep faster in addition to reducing stress levels and letting your body and mind relax.