How to Work Night Shift and Stay Healthy
Around 15 million people across the U.S. work regular night shifts. The problem with working nights and other irregular schedules is that this regime goes against our natural sleep patterns. Humans have evolved to sleep at night time and be awake in the day, and this pattern is governed by an internal body clock known as the circadian rhythms.
This means that when you are working the night shift, you may struggle to stay awake. And when the shift is over and you are tired and ready to sleep, you have to fight your internal clock that is telling you that it is time to be awake.
How to work the night shift and stay healthy will largely depend upon your own physical makeup, because some people do handle this better than others. But the big problem for most is lack of sleep. We need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep in every 24 hours period in order to stay healthy. If you go without sleep for too long, it will lead to sleep debt where you need to catch up on missed sleep as soon as possible.
So how to work the night shift and stay healthy is important for health and wellbeing. Here are some tips to help.
- Go to bed as soon as possible. The longer you delay the harder it is to sleep.
- Eat or drink something before you sleep. Otherwise thirst or hunger pangs may wake you up.
- Don’t use alcohol to sleep. Yes, it helps you get to sleep fast but it also leads to lighter disturbed sleep and will wake you up a few hours later.
- Minimize exposure to daylight on your route home. Research has shown that people, who wear sunglasses to restrict daylight exposure, get to sleep faster than people who don’t.
- Buy some black out curtains so that you can block out the daylight when you are supposed to be sleeping.
- Tell your friends, family and neighbours your shift pattern so that they won’t call or make too much noise in and around the house.
- Take a sleep supplement that contains melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that tells you when it is time to sleep and although this usually kicks in at night once it gets dark and you are ready for sleep, it is not triggered in day time.
Vitanica Sleep Blend helps redress this balance. The supplement contains Melatonin plus other natural botanicals such as valerian which helps to soothe and calm you down. There are numerous melatonin supplements on the market, but Vitanica is a trusted brand so is one of the best on the market.