How to Keep Healthy When Working the Third Shift
Many people who work the third shift find it challenging to keep healthy. It can be hard to maintain a regular sleep schedule and poor diet when you’re working at night. There’s also a lack of exercise time because of your busy schedule. But there are some things you can do to stay healthy while working during this period. Here are some tips for staying healthy while working the third shift.
What is the third shift, and why is it essential to keep healthy while working it:
The third shift is the overnight work schedule that many people must work to keep businesses and organizations running smoothly. There are many industries where people work the third shift. Some of the most common ones are healthcare, law enforcement, and manufacturing. While it can be challenging to stay healthy while performing it, there are some simple steps you can take to make things a little easier on yourself.
What are some common health problems associated with working the third shift:
Poor sleep hygiene:
One of the most common health problems associated with working the third shift is poor sleep hygiene. Because you work during the night, you still have to take care of things at home during the day and deal with noise and light exposure when it’s time to sleep. These can interfere with your ability to get a rested sleep, leading to several health problems.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body cannot function at its best. When you’re tired, your reflexes are slower, and your judgment is impaired. Lack of sleep can increase your risk of accidents and injuries at work and home. You can also have lower iron levels and lower immune system function.
Another common health problem associated with working the third shift is a poor diet. Since you’re often at work during the evening and into the early morning, restaurants and fast-food places are open and readily accessible. You may not have time to cook healthy meals at home, so you stop at one of these places on your way home from work. Unfortunately, many of the options they provide are high in fat and carbs with little to no nutritional value. This can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, arthritis, high cholesterol, etc.
Poor exercise habits:
Because working at night causes poor sleep hygiene, people who work the third shift tend to neglect exercise. The lack of sleep can make it challenging to keep up with physical activity, and the poor diet associated with this shift makes it harder to put in exercise time purposefully. Combining these two factors can lead to a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat, which increases your risk of developing other health problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
How can you stay healthy while working the third shift:
Maintain a regular sleep schedule:
One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy while working the third shift is maintaining a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the exact times each day, even on your days off. It may be challenging to stick to this at first, but it will get easier. When you establish a regular sleep routine, it will be easier for your body to adjust, and you’ll find that you can function better during the day.
If you have difficulties falling asleep during the day because of noise and sunlight, there are ways to minimize these problems. You can soundproof your bedroom or use earplugs to reduce the amount of noise you’re exposed to during your sleep time. Using an eye mask and making sure your windows are covered with blackout curtains can also help you sleep easier during the day if the light is a problem for you.
Make healthy food choices:
One way to help ensure that you eat a healthy diet when working the third shift is to plan. Stocking up on healthy, easy-to-prepare snacks for work can make it easier to find something to eat when you’re busy and might not have time to cook a full meal. Making a list of your favorite healthy meals and planning out your menus for the week can also help you establish a good nutritional routine. You can also take vitamin and mineral supplements to give your body the nutrients to stay healthy.
Working the third shift can be tough on your health, but there are some simple steps that you can take to keep healthy and maintain a good quality of life. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is an essential first step in staying fit and eating right while working this problematic shift.