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Since time immemorial, the human biological clock is one that has aligned itself with nature. Thus, just like our ancestors, we are expected to wake up with the rising sun and toil our way through the day.
At the end of it all as the sun sets, we are supposed to call it a day and head for a good night's sleep in order to prepare ourselves for the trials and turbulences of the upcoming days. However, not always do things go as they are supposed to.
Thanks to globalization and the improvisation of technology, a number of jobs in India take place during the night shift. That is because although one is working in India, he/she is actually serving clients who are in the West and since it is the client who puts the bread on the table, one has to work as per the client's convenience.
It is a common belief that this type of a work schedule takes a toll on one's health. While to some extent this is true, the fact remains that by taking certain care, it can be ensured that one maintains their health even while doing a night-shift job. For those working in night shifts, here is a list of ten tips that will enable them to maintain their health and fitness.
1. Give Yourself A Head Start
It is often seen that maintaining a night shift is not as difficult as getting into one. Thus, if you know that your job demands you to be working in shifts, what you can do is to try getting into the schedule one or two days before you begin with the actual job. That way, your sleep habits will also get accustomed to the new pattern and you will be able to access the major lifestyle changes that this will usher in.
If you live in a metro, one major lifestyle change would be that of the amount of time you spend in the traffic. Now that you will be working in the night shift, this figure will not remain the same, as it was.
2. Eat Well
People working in nights shifts have a habit of skipping one meal or the other. Do not do that. Remember, irrespective of the shift that you work in, your body will need the same amount of nutrients. Make sure that you give your body what it deserves.
3. Get Enough Sleep
An average adult needs 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis. From a medical point of view, it does not matter if you get that 8 hours in the day or at night. In fact, it is okay to have your sleep being split into multiple parts and the total of the same adding up to complete the required 8 hours. Thus, whatever you do, make it a point to get 8 hours of sleep every day.
4. Make Time For Physical Exercise
People working in night shifts often complain that they do not have enough time for exercise. However, this is just an excuse and nothing else. Considering that you work for the same number of hours and sleep for the same number of hours (and in fact spend lesser time on commute) as compared to your peers working in the day shift, there is no way why this should be a problem. Remember, proper exercise is the key to good health and this is all the way truer in the case of people working in night shifts.
5. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
It might seem very tempting to take shots of espresso coffee throughout the night. However, as a healthy practice, make sure that you control that temptation. The mugs of coffee that you take at night hamper your sleep during the day, which in turn affects your health.
6. Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Make it a point to catch up with your friends and relatives on weekends or whenever you can. If it is not possible for you to meet up with them physically, make sure that you message them as and when you can. This will ensure that you remain connected with people at the social level and make the way for sound mental health on your part.
7. Use Heavy Curtains
Many people working in night shifts complain that they are not able to get proper sleep during the day. One possible reason for the same is the presence of sunlight. To deal with the same, make sure that your bedroom has heavy curtains or thick blinds. You can also opt for eye masks. Doing so will create a night-like ambience for you when you sleep and this will ensure that you get a better rest.
8. Avoid Long Commutes
While this is true in the case of every individual, this makes all the way more sense in the context of people who work at night shifts. As far as possible, try to minimize the distance between your home and workplace. Doing so will ensure that you spend less time in traffic and more time on the bed and this will in turn pave the way for a healthier you.
9. Avoid Frequently Rotating Shifts
While working in night shifts is totally cool, frequently rotating shifts is not. In case if your job demands that you have to rotate your shift, make sure that the transition is from evening to night and not vice versa. That will ensure that your biological clock adjusts itself and that you do not face any serious health complications.
10. Have Your Personal Time
Just because you are in a night shift, it does not mean that you must stop doing what you like. Have your hobbies and make sure that you manage some time out of your daily schedule for the same. This will ensure that you have the peace of mind that is needed for a healthy life.