Tips for coping with an overnight shift

overnight shift

People who work their night shift work not only change their lifestyle habits but are at risk of suffering consequences on their health, both physically and psychologically. This is due to the alteration of the biological clock caused by night work, which modifies our sleep and wake habits that are always associated with the light hours.

Health Issue due to an overnight shift:

The disorder that involves forcing the body to be active during the hours without light and to sleep once the sun has left causes an alteration in the rest, whose quality decreases remarkably, although it occurs in the best possible conditions. This rest abnormality can trigger long-term health problems, ranging from a significant elevation of the risk of heart disease to premature aging at a rate of 5 years for every 15 hours of night shift work, according to estimates by the World Organization of Health (WHO). Other disorders such as fatigue, insomnia, neurosis, stress or depression are also related to the change in biorhythms caused by these work shifts.


Another problem associated with the night shift is the alteration of eating habits, which directly affects the quality of the diet and makes this type of workers more prone to the consumption of fast and unhealthy food. Thus, working night shift can also trigger disorders related to the digestive system as well as being overweight.

Nor should we forget the repercussions that these working hours have on the family and personal life of the worker and that can end up affecting his psychological health of this. Given the poor prospects of working on a night shift and the need to have to do it, we only have to be especially cautious with our habits of life to cope with the best possible at such a peculiar schedule.

From Fleet we provide some useful tips to minimize the impact of work on our health:

  • Plan your schedule on a regular basis: set your bedtime, ideally, with 8 hours of sleep and set meal times based on rest. It is best to try to have a continuous and non-fractional rest.
  • The collaboration of those around you is essential: inform those with whom you live from your rest time to respect the maximum and disconnect the mobile phone during those hours. Except for urgencies, your sleep hours should not be interrupted.
  • At bedtime, it creates a favorable environment, where darkness and silence make it easier for you to rest. Using accessories such as earplugs and sleeping masks can help improve sleep quality. To favor the routine, proceed the sleep hours of activities that are associated with the night, such as brushing your teeth, relax a little watching TV or reading, take a bath, etc.
  • Look for the perfect schedule: bedtime may not be right for you because you have family obligations in the morning and you prefer to get up just before the night shift begins. Be that as it may, you should try the schedule that best allows you to rest, taking into account the circumstances of your home, your family, and your environment.
  • Try to plan your schedule taking into account the need to interact with your partner, children or family in general. Maintaining ties will be vital to ensuring your emotional stability. It is also advisable to make an effort to match your friendships to avoid the isolation that the night shift can bring associated.
  • Avoid stimulating drinks: although they have traditionally been associated with night work shifts, instead of favoring concentration and performance, they will make you suffer by hurting your rest.
  • Maintain breakfast, lunch and dinner habits as much as possible, even if you have to have breakfast before bed or dinner before going to work. Your body will appreciate that you at least maintain the feeding routines and it is not advisable in any case that you skip any food.
  • Exercise: just like daytime hours, practicing some sport or physical activity regularly will help you to fall asleep and keep your body healthy. You can do your exercise in the evenings, before dinner and start your work schedule and pose as the first activity of your day.

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