Are you one of the 3 million people in the UK who regularly work nights? Did you know that the over 50’s account for almost a third of this number? And that most night workers are aged between the ages of 30 – 49? (source TUC.org.uk)
There are many jobs that we all depend on that need to continue throughout the night from doctors to firefighters to food production operatives. There has been a real increase in the number of people working nights over the last couple of years with wholesale and retail, transport and distribution and health and social care accounting for most of the increase. (source TUC.org.uk).
With many people now working nights for the very first time in industries they may have not worked in before, in order to support the nation through this pandemic, we wanted to share a few tips;
Try to pack some healthy meals and snacks to last you your shift to avoid opting for sugary/processed food. It may seem like the tempting option to give you a boost but may mean a dip in energy later. Try to also eat meals at the same time each day.
Keep active during breaks
During your breaks try to walk around or move your body to keep the blood flowing if you can.
Don’t drive if you feel tired
If you are adjusting to sleeping during the day and aren’t quite sleeping too well yet you will likely feel tired at the end of your shift. If you are too tired to drive, don’t. Make sure you make a backup plan for this – perhaps someone from your household could collect you? Or if your work place has rest facilities on site you may be able to have a short nap before heading home – it won’t hurt to ask.
Once you are home take the time to have a light meal and relax – you could read a book, or take a bath before heading to bed.
Make sure to get exposure to day light where possible.
Exercise before or after your shift. Exercise can help you to sleep better, just make sure not to exercise too close to when you plan to go to sleep.
Identify a sleep schedule that works for you
Identify a suitable sleep schedule which your body can get used to. On average we need between 7-8 hours sleep per day.
Make sure that your bedroom has blackout blinds or wear an eye mask and keep the room cool. As well as speaking to those in your household you could also speak with your neighbors to let them know of the change – they will hopefully take this into consideration and keep any noise down during the times you are likely to be asleep. They won’t know to do this if you don’t tell them.
Give yourself a break! It can take a little while to adapt, so don’t try to fit all your chores in and all other activities at the cost of rest/sleep at once while trying to get used to your new routine. If you need further help or advice while adjusting to night shifts you can speak to your Corr Recruitment Consultant or your employer.