Work the Night Shift? Here’s How to Stay Healthy

Night Shift

Working the night shift might come with extra pay and perks. However, at the same time, your health can take a hit if you’re not careful. How can you maintain good habits while also working the night shift? Here are a few tips to help you.

Skip the coffee and junk food.

While these might provide a quick boost during your shift, the fuel is short-lived and you’ll end up more fatigued. Instead, stick to one cup of coffee and make sure you’re hydrating with plenty of water. If you don’t have healthy food options available at work, then bring in food from home, like fruit and yogurt, rice and vegetables, or a salad. These kinds of snacks and meals will provide the fuel you need without the crash at the end.

Limit screen time and get more sleep.

If you’re not feeling your best, evaluate your sleeping habits. If you get off your shift and spend an hour on your phone, then can’t sleep, it’s time for a change. Instead, limit your screen time and aim for healthier sleep habits. You might also need to take steps, like installing blackout shades or getting a noise machine to mask outside noise, if you’re trying to sleep during the day.

Lighten up before your shift.

If it’s getting dark just before your shift, this sends the message to your body to get ready for bed. To combat this, use light to alert your brain it’s time to wake up. As you’re getting ready, turn on all the lights in your room, so you can wake up and get energized. At work, expose yourself to as much light as possible. You can even invest in a lightbox that’s mobile and take it with you to emit artificial light wherever your go.

Get your family involved.

A night shift schedule can be difficult on you and your whole family. It can put a strain on relationships and make marriage and parenting more stressful. Plus, if you’re sleep-deprived, it makes the situation even worse. Instead, work together to plan family time and also communicate what you need to sleep and get enough rest. When you’re all on the same page, it will be far easier to manage your schedule.

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