The trend of working night shifts has increased a lot in recent times.
Working in night shifts can be good from a financial point of view, but such jobs are not good from a health aspect.
Our body is designed to be active during the day and rest at night. The various scientific studies report that night shifts are a risk factor for health and well-being. When you’re working in the night shift, the natural circadian rhythm of your body can be disrupted, causing it to become out of sync. Many functions of your body like your digestion, heart rate, and body temperature are regulated by your circadian system.
Reduced performance at the job, obesity and a wide range of chronic diseases are some of the side effects of night shift jobs.
In an era of fast economic change, it may not be possible to quit jobs with night shifts. But you can manage to stay healthy while working in such jobs by following some tips.
Let’s have a look at some health tips for night shift workers.
Take Frequent Breaks :
Whether you are involved in a 9-to-5 job or night shifts, taking frequent breaks is a must. It can protect you from the possible threats of hours of sitting every day. It is helpful in boosting creativity and passion, refreshing your attention span and sustain concentration.
Along with this, it lowers your body mass index and keeps your eyes healthy. Hence, take a short break for every one hour of work.
Regulate Your Schedule with Exercise :
We all know that getting enough sleep is important for our health, but this can be especially challenging for the night shift workers. This tip may seem counterintuitive, but regular exercise helps your body adapt to stressful situations, including the non-traditional sleep schedule of a night shift.
It even boosts the immunity, keeps you alert and improves concentration. You can exercise right before or after work by performing some form of cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes. During your breaks, go for a short walk or take stairs in the office as much as possible.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake :
The night shift workers tend to keep on drinking coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks for staying alert. But this habit doesn’t go well with your health.
It is because coffee can stay in your system for up to eight hours and affect your sleep. It’s better to switch to decaffeinated drinks or unsweetened herbal tea to stay healthy while working night shifts.
Choose Healthy Foods :
What you eat creates a big difference in your overall health. As a night shift worker, you are already at a risk of several health problems. Don’t worsen the condition by eating unhealthy foods. Whole foods, vegetables, lean protein, eggs, nuts, and antioxidant-rich foods prove to the best diet for night shift workers.
Avoid eating sugary, fatty and fried foods. It’s better to carry your own healthy snacks to work, like an apple with a small piece of low-fat cheese or a handful of nuts with low-fat yogurt.
Maintain Regular Mealtimes :
Night shift work can affect your dietary health too. It is seen that delaying mealtimes or having meals at irregular times can affect the internal body rhythms. Hence, it is recommended to fix your night shift eating schedule as it helps to maintain the body’s clock.
Try to have breakfast after you get home, a light meal after waking up and your “main meal” before going to work. You must avoid having large meals during the night as it can cause gas, heartburn or constipation.
Check Your Vitamin D Level :
Vitamin D is important for your health as it plays a role in the absorption of calcium in the body. Working in night shifts means reduced exposure to sunlight leading to a vitamin D deficiency.
This can further affect your bones. So, it is important to get your vitamin D level checked regularly. Whenever possible, expose your body to early morning sunlight for 15-20 minutes. Also, consume foods fortified with vitamin D like some cereals, dairy products, and juices.
Summary: – Working in the night shift jobs can take a toll on your health and disturb your body’s natural routine cycle. The good news is that you can work in night shift and stay healthy, just by making adjustments to your habits, such as those discussed here you can minimize the potential side effects and remain healthy, able to work well and able to enjoy your days off too.
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