So, think of a doctor, a factory worker, a fire-fighter, a police officer, and a paramedic. What is it that these jobs have in common? It is the fact that they are just some of those people in the line of work where they have to do night shifts. The truth is that it can be quite challenging and requires a period of adaptation.
Basically, you have to replace day and night and find how to cope with various health risks that are related to this big shift. In this article, we are going to go through some of the tips that you should try out as a night worker.
Regulate your sleep cycles
Within your brain, in the hypothalamus, there is what people most commonly refer to as your body’s internal clock. This is actually the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) which regulates a number of your body’s requirements. This includes your attention span, temperature, hormones, and, of course, your sleep cycle. So, in order to enable yourself to be awake and attentive during the night, you have to get enough sleep during the day.
The best approach is to keep your room dark during the day and try to rest your eyes as much as possible. Spending hours in front of the TV, computer, or using your mobile phone isn’t going to work. Also, always eat and drink enough before going to sleep. Try to keep your mind off the work that awaits you at night time. Get to sleep at the same time every morning, so that your sleep cycle adjusts properly to the new regime.
Think about what you eat
Due to the fact that you are changing your daily rhythm, you can assume that it is going to affect your metabolism as well. Metabolic syndrome is a common thing for night workers, so you want to make sure that you plan your meals and stick to a strict diet. If you’ve got a schedule for your meals, you will be more alert when working and more relaxed when you have to sleep. Your pattern needs to be as similar as possible to how you would eat during the day.
It’s the best idea to stick to healthy foods and snacks in order to keep a healthy body weight. Steer clear of foods that are tough to digest, like fried and processed meals. The same goes for anything with too much sugar. Fruits and veggies are your best solution, as you will get the necessary minerals, vitamins, and fiber from them. Frequent but light meals are the way to go. Also, stay hydrated during your work hours, but make sure that your bladder is light before you go to sleep.
Be wise about your caffeine intake
In order to stay stimulated during the late work hours, it is smart to have a coffee machine around, like the ones you can get from Blue Pod. However, it is important that you are wise and careful about your coffee intake. If you drink too much right away, you are going to jumpstart your shift, but this way you can cause gastrointestinal problems and muscle shakes in time. The best way to go is to take small but regular doses of caffeine during your work hours. This way you will remain awake while also being equally productive during the whole shift.
Since caffeine starts to have an effect after about 20 minutes, some doctors suggest that you take a small dose before napping, because then you will decrease sleep inertia that often happens when you wake up. However, before a good sleep, it is suggested not to take any caffeine for at least 6 hours.
Try out white noise apps
If you are having trouble adapting to sleeping during the day after your night shifts, or there are various factors such as loud neighbors and noises from the street, then you should try out white noise apps. There is a wide variety out there for you to choose from, each having its own set of environmental sounds, such as waves on the beach or a soft rainfall, that can help you sleep well by enabling you to relax and canceling out all those outside noises that are making it difficult.
There is a wide variety of professions out there that require you to work night shifts. The fact is that replacing day and night has a significant effect on your body’s internal clock and metabolism, so it is important that you take certain steps to properly adapt to it.
Come up with a good diet and make sure that you drink smaller amounts of coffee at regular intervals. If you are having trouble getting sleep during the day, try getting a white noise app to help you relax.