One of the most difficult parts of going to work is dealing with the hours, especially if you work the night shift. Humans are the only species that spends hours away from their families at a time at work and that can have a tremendous effect on our health and well being.
There are many industries that require their staff to work in shifts. Nursing, aviation, and public enforcement are just a few of careers, but each require a balance of night shifts and day shifts from their staff.
The night shift is probably one of the most challenging shifts out there, given that we are not nocturnal beings! We are designed to sleep through the night hours to repair, rejuvenate and give our bodies the chance to relax. We are also designed to earn money for our families; so, what can we do?
Other than choosing a career that doesn’t require you to find a balance between your days and nights, there isn’t too much, to be honest!
Everything from our metabolism to our digestive health suffers when we reverse our body clock to work days over nights.
If you’re currently stuck in a position in healthcare where you cannot swap out from working the night shift, perhaps it may be time to visit 360 Healthcare Staffing, where you can search for another job more suited in your field.
Studies have shown that even after a couple of years of working the night shift, we still may not be as adjusted to nights as we would like to be. The thing is, your field may require you to keep a good balance with your colleagues, and so working the night shift – with its premium addition to a wage – is often unavoidable.
On that note, you need to learn to balance your body so that you can stay healthy while working in opposite land!
How to Balance Your Health While Working The Night Shift
- One of the first things you need to remember is that your night is now your day, so eating meals needs to be normal. Try not to graze on foods you wouldn’t usually and stick as closely to ‘normal’ meal times as possible. When you do get to mealtimes, healthy food is your best option. Night time is usually when our bodies fast, and you need to try and eat a healthy balance to minimise the risk of glucose shock.
- Working the night shift means you could easily lack in Vitamin D, which we usually get from sunlight. Have these levels checked regularly and go for supplements where you can. It’s important to get the right balance of vitamins where you can.
- Exercise is more difficult when it comes to working nights, as you feel like you’re in a cycle of sleep – work – sleep and the sluggish feeling that can give you isn’t conducive to a gym session. However, fresh air is important, so even if you are going for a brisk walk after work in the early hours, try and get your heartrate up!
Working the night shift isn’t easy, but you can make life easier for yourself while you have to do it! Finding that balance is important for your health, so make it a priority.