Sleep is crucial for your overall health development and for keeping diseases at bay. Many jobs require night shifts, like that of doctors, nurses, firefighters, etc. You need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and manage your sleep cycle so that it does not lead to health conditions or disrupt your personal life. Working night shifts hamper your sleep cycle and increase your chances of developing shift work sleep disorder, heart disease, obesity, and metabolic problems. Keep reading this article to learn how you can keep yourself healthy and manage your sleep.
Ways To Keep Yourself Healthy While Working Night Shifts
Maintain Sleep Hygiene
It is imperative to maintain good sleep hygiene to promote your sleep quality. You should have fixed sleeping and waking hours and create a better sleeping environment. This will lower your chance of developing sleep disorders like insomnia and hypersomnia.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Drinking coffee keeps you awake, and if you drink it right before bedtime, it can disrupt your sleep cycle. It can raise your blood pressure and lower the quality of your sleep. Avoid drinking coffee at least four hours before your bedtime.
Control Exposure To Light
Maximize your light exposure at work, as it makes your body believe it is daytime. On the other hand, minimize light exposure before bedtime. You can wear eye masks or put on black curtains when you are sleeping during the day to avoid exposure to light. Try not to use electronic devices when you are about to sleep.
Also Read: Sleeping With Lights On? Know Why It Can Be Harmful
Exercising can help you in many ways, especially on working better with night shifts. It can help you sleep better; however, avoid exercising at least three hours before bed, as it can keep you awake for longer. Night shifts get over in the morning, so exercise only after completing your sleep.
Late night shifts can increase metabolic problems, therefore, you must maintain a healthy diet. You can also take vitamin D supplements, as working late nights can cause vitamin D deficiency. Avoid sleeping hungry, as it can wake you up in the middle of your sleep.
You should drink adequate amounts of water to manage your energy levels, body temperature, and for the smooth functioning of your organs. You should avoid drinking beverages that are high in sugar.
Nicotine present in cigarettes acts as a stimulant and can affect your cardiac rhythm. It also increases the risk of developing sleep conditions like sleep apnea.
Plan Your Day
Working night shifts can cause difficulty in managing your day and personal life. Create a fixed schedule for your daily activities and your sleeping routine. You can also inform your shift timings to your friends and family so that they do not disrupt or distract you while you are sleeping.
Take Naps In Between
Taking naps during your break time can increase alertness and prevent fatigue.
Working late at night can disrupt your cardiac rhythm, resulting in poor sleep quality. Therefore, it is essential to maintain healthy habits like a healthy diet, exercising, controlling light exposure, etc., to ensure sound sleep while working the night shift. If you cannot sleep, you can talk to your doctor and ask him to prescribe you melatonin supplements.