Saturday, February 11, 2012

Health tips to follow if you work the night shift

If you have a job that requires you work the night shift, pay a little extra attention to certain things to avoid adversely affecting your health.
Whether you work in a call centre, hospital or are working with international partners; working the night shift is a way of life for many Indians today. Here are some simple health tips you can follow to avoid the pitfalls of working the night shift.

Health tips to follow if you work the night shift

  1. Adjust your body clock – We are all naturally programmed to rise with the sun and sleep after dark. So if you’re new to the night shift you might be feeling bright in the day and groggy at night. Doggedly keep to the same time of waking up and going to bed every day so that your body gets the message and will slowly but surely shift your inner clock to match the new timings.

  2. Diet – Most people working the night shift have at least one or two meals at work. The danger here is of overstuffing yourself since food is readily available. If you’re working the night shift, try and finish dinner by 8pm or so, before you start your shift. Between 12 midnight and 6 am, it’s best to eat light meals that are high in fibre and protein and low in sugar and fat.

  3. Help yourself get a good day’s rest – When you get back home after a night shift, you may be so tired that you just crawl into bed. But take a few minutes to ensure that you get some undisturbed winks. Draw the curtains to shut out the sunlight as much as possible and turn off your phone. Check that your pillows support your neck and the mattress is not lumpy. A droning sound such as from an overhead fan or air-conditioner acts as a noise buffer and creates white noise, which aids sleep.

  4. Sleeping tips – Try to get a big chunk of sleep in one go (at least 4-5 hours). If you break up your sleep in many smaller pieces, deep sleep will elude you and you will not be as rested as if you had slept at a stretch.

  5. Watch the snacking habit – Most people working the night shift have sitting jobs; nine times out of ten in front of the computer. Keeping your facial muscles active by means of snacking and chewing may seem like fun but you are unwittingly consuming a lot of calories in the process. So if you must munch, avoid chocolates, chips and fried stuff, instead carry along a fruit or puffed rice that have a much lower calorie count.

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