How To Work the Night Shift And Stay Healthy
If you’re new to the ‘graveyard shift’, you might be feeling sluggish, having difficulty falling asleep, having difficulty staying alert and, eventually, you might even notice some weight gain. Night shift workers can suffer from other health-related issues too. But, fortunately, you can find out how to work the night shift and stay healthy.
How the Graveyard Shift Can Affect Your Health
It isn’t really the night shift schedule that’s the problem, but the change in your circadian rhythm, which is 24-hour cycle of your energy levels rising and dropping. Generally, our circadian rhythms are geared to the time zone we live in. In other words, our energy levels are up during the day and down at night, regardless of where we live in the world.
When you try to adjust to the night shift, and be “up” when your circadian rhythm says it’s time to sleep, and sleep when it says “go”, it can leave you feeling the symptoms we mentioned above, and more.
3 Tips for Staying Healthy While Working Overnight
Fortunately, everything you need to do to stay healthy when you work overnight will help boost your overall health too.
- Eat Healthy Meals at the Right Times – One thing your body isn’t ready for at night is a large meal, even if it’s all healthy foods. While your circadian rhythm can eventually adjust to your nighttime schedule, it’s best to avoid eating a big meal between midnight and 6:00 am. Also, do your research on healthy meals and snacks. They give you the nutrition and energy you need to handle all the changes in your body and sleep schedule.
- Sleep as Much as You Can in Night Time Hours – You can maintain your sleep hygiene by trying to stick as close to “sleeping at night” as possible. That means, if possible, get your sleep in the afternoons and evenings before your shift and stay awake in the daytime hours following.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Do so for all the usual reasons, but particularly on the night shift. It will help you keep up your energy and make you feel fuller so you aren’t as hungry.
If you have trouble coming up with a good meal plan, try a Herbal One Diet Plan. It’s designed especially for you to give you all the energy and nutrition you need to keep your energy up and your weight down.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article on how to stay motivated to eat healthy foods.