10 healthy ways to work the night shift
One of the side effects of a globalised world is the need to work nights, and cater to clients from around the globe. At The Residency Hotels, guests can check-in 24/7, restaurant and bar service run late into the night, and staff are also hard at work to prep for breakfast the next morning.
Studies have shown that even night owls run the risk of overworking themselves on the graveyard shift. But don’t worry. We’ve got a few tips for those who must turn their nights into days.
1. Get 8 hours of sleep
Newbies often think they can get away with having a short nap in the morning. However, your body needs to get 7-8 hours of sleep to function properly. Not getting enough sleep makes you unproductive and can lead to health ramifications. So it is time to make sleep your number 1 priority.
2. Create a cosy environment
Install dark blinds or curtains in your bedroom to keep the sunlight out. Alternatively, you could also invest in a soft and comfortable eye mask to keep latent brightness at bay. Remember, you are more likely to sleep well in a cool, dark room rather than a bright sunny one.
3. Maintain a routine
Try to ensure you eat and sleep at the same time every day. Sticking to a daily routine will help program your biological clock and better acclimatise you to your new schedule.
4. Eat healthy
Include plenty of protein-rich ingredients into your diet such as vegetables, fruit, dairy, nuts, peanut butter, etc. These will help you stay alert and energized, while also nourishing the body with vital nutrients.
5. Don’t sleep on an empty stomach
Your body needs energy especially while sleeping. You might wake up feeling tired if you go to bed on an empty stomach. So, drink a glass of milk, even if you don't feel like eating much, and enjoy a good day’s sleep.
6. Drink caffeine in moderation
Coffee, tea, colas, and other caffeinated beverages tend to interfere with sleep. Avoid these where possible, especially towards the end of your shift as you’ll have to prepare to sleep soon.
7. Stay away from sugary treats before work
Sugary foods like cakes and pastries can spike your energy levels for a bit, but will lead to fatigue during your work. However, if you are craving a little sweetness, treat yourself to a small snack right before the end of your shift.
8. Avoid alcohol after work
Some people like to sip on a glass of beer or wine to unwind after work. However, just like caffeine, alcohol also wears off within a couple of hours leading to a disturbed slumber.
9. Don’t exercise in the morning
Early morning exercise can promote wakefulness during the day, which is not what night shift workers need. Instead, shift your exercise hours to after you wake up so you feel energized for the night ahead.
10. Catch up with friends and family before work
Oftentimes, since night workers are on a different schedule than the rest, it can become hard to make time for friends and family. Try waking up a few hours before your shift to meet your loved ones. You can also use this time to practise a hobby or catch up with your favourite TV shows.
Give your body a month or so to adjust to the new schedule. Working nights isn’t easy to get used to, but it can be a lot of fun when you learn to take care of yourself.