Some people thrive on the night shift. For others, that schedule requires a major adjustment. When you’re assigned to an alternative shift, it’s important to keep track of your sleep patterns and make sure you’re getting enough rest. If not, you could face serious problems.
Keeping an adequate sleep regimen while working the night shift can pose a significant challenge. However, there are steps you can take to stay alert and to stay healthy. But first, you have to track whether you need additional rest or not.
Sneaky Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep
How do you know whether you are getting enough sleep? It’s an important question for tracking your night-shift routine.
For this reason, it’s important to know the signs of sleep deprivation. These aren’t always obvious. If you start dozing off during your break or fight to keep awake on your drive home, the situation is obvious: you need to make some changes.
However, most signs are more subtle. Here are a few things to watch out for:
Your Thinking Slows Down
Having trouble putting a thought together, or expressing yourself well? You might need a few extra hours of sleep.
You Get Clumsy
Sleep-related slow-downs can manifest physically as well. You might not start thinking more slowly, but your coordination could suffer. If you feel yourself getting clumsier, it might be a sign of sleep deprivation.
You Get Sick More Often
A lack of rest can weaken your immune system and leave you vulnerable to disease. Since you switched to the night shift, does it seem like you’ve constantly had a cold? The best cure might be some additional rest.
You Get Moody
Just as sleep deprivation can wear on you physically, it can also chip away at your mental health as well. If you feel moody, or depressed, or just find yourself snapping at those around you, reworking your sleep schedule could provide an easy fix.
Steps to Optimize Your Health on the Night Shift
So, you’ve determined that you aren’t getting enough sleep for your night-shift schedule. Now what?
Switching to an overnight shift can represent a difficult transition. Still, there are little tweaks you can make to your lifestyle to make things easier. Here are a few steps you can take:
Follow a Schedule
Get into a routine. Your body might be used to going to bed at 11 PM and waking up at 6 AM, but that’s just a matter of habit. By getting strict about when you go to bed, you’ll make it easier to adjust to the new schedule.
Get More Exercise
A workout before you head into work can help get the blood pumping early in your shift. This energy boost can help see you through the rest of the night. Meanwhile, a good fitness routine will help you fall asleep easier, eliminating some insomnia that comes with a change in schedule.
Improve Your Diet
A healthy diet can help you improve your energy at work, as well as make it easier to fall asleep when you get home. Avoid junk food or quick-energy fixes, like caffeine or energy drinks. You might get a short-term boost from these, but you’ll feel the drag later on. In the worst-case scenario, you could become reliant on these chemicals, or even physically addicted.
It’s possible to adjust to any shift. However, your career will develop best when you find a perfect fit for your talents and lifestyle. A top-flight recruiter, like SmartTalent, will place you in the ideal role for you.
Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.