Healthy You: Working on Night Shift

Posted in Health & Fitness on Apr 29, 2013

If you are planning to work or currently working in a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company or in a layman ‘s term – Call Center Industry, you should be prepared to render your working hours during night shift or grave yard shift since most of the BPO companies are rendering services for our customers in the other side of the Globe.  Having said that, even though I’ve been here (in this industry) for nearly eleven years now,  I always find it challenging to be on a night shift since I LOOVVEE to sleep.   :)  And no matter how many hours of sleep I get in the morning, I will always feel sleepy during work hours so here are some of tips on sleep and diet for all of us:

Source, for sleep:
1. Have a sleep ritual. Go to sleep as soon as you can after work. Don’t get caught up in chores, errands, and scheduling. Save this for later when you can devote your full attention to them. Come home from work, relax in the bath with a book, and then hit the hay.
2. If you are exposed to a lot of sunlight right after work, your body will perk up and make sleep difficult. Don’t stay outside longer than necessary before bed and make your room as dark as possible, even if you must resort to blinds, curtains, or a sleep mask.
3. To keep disturbing noise to a minimum, invest in a good set of ear plugs. Unplug the phone in your room. Talk to your family members about taking extra care to be quiet.
4. Avoid the overuse of sleep aids. Sure, they can be a temporary solution, but in the long run they could cover up a larger problem. They are not actually helping your body clock to adjust, so talk to your doctor before using these. (Same goes for alcohol. It might make you sleep faster, but you won’t sleep as soundly.)
5. Avoid caffeine. It might help you make it through your shift, but if you drink coffee too close to bedtime, you’ll have a terrible time trying to fall asleep.

Source, for diet:
1. Don’t eat a huge meal right at the end of your shift. It will just sit in your stomach as you try to sleep, leading to trouble digesting as well as disrupted slumber. Your body will have difficulty burning these extra calories and they can turn to fat.
2. Drink plenty of water throughout your shift. Dehydration can cause cramps and headaches, which can make your shift very unpleasant.
3. Fuel up on complex carbohydrates; these will release energy slowly over a long period of time, versus quick sugar bursts that won’t last too long. Also, protein will fuel your muscles throughout the night.
4. Time your meals and activities to match your “day.”

For Habits, source, me based from experience :) :
1. Try to relax, make sure that your heartbeat is on a rest pace or beat. It will help you if you’ll control your breathing. Don’t excite yourself by thinking of stuff. Try to meditate. Concentrate on something solid, imagine you are looking at a black dot in a middle of a white board. This will relax your mind and help you sleep.
2. It helps my eyes to get tired and eventually fall asleep when I read books. Just make sure it’s not something that will excite you or opt you to continue reading until you’ve finished the book. Like Twilight or Harry Potter. :) Happened to me already and it made me loose all the hours intended for sleep. :)
3. If you need to commute when going home, make sure that no matter how sleepy you are, you will not sleep in the Public Utility Vehicles. Aside from it’s not advisable due to security and all, you will loose your “sleepiness” because you will get the “power nap” couple of hours before your intended sleep.
4. Speaking of power nap, (power nap-napping or sleeping for at least 15-20 minutes) if you need to do this, make sure that it’s in the middle of your working hours. It will revive you for the rest your shift. But if done during commuting hours, it’s a no-no.

Share if you have other inputs on how to be a healthy you while working on a night shift.

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