- Try to follow a regular sleep schedule
- Make sleep your top priority. At least till your body gets adjusted, avoid doing things that will keep you alert and awake when you need to sleep.
- Get dark, solid curtains for your bedroom. Wear an eye mask to get total darkness. Even a bit of light can make your body react and tell you it`s time to wake up!
- The temperature in your room has to be kept cool and soothing.
- See that you are not disturbed on any count. Family members need to be given proper instructions to this effect.
- Play relaxing music. Suddenly the market is flooded with soothing music meant especially for people who need some external inducement - so stock yourself with your fave music.
- It is better and will make you more productive if you can snatch at least a half hour shut eye before you leave for your job.
- Even before you start on your job, practise keeping awake at nights.
- Always wear dark glasses when you leave for home in the morning. This way, your body does not get alerted by the sunlight to keep awake during the day.
How to get proper nutrition
- Never miss breakfast. See to it that this is the first meal of the day whatever be the time.
- Did you know that the so-called `energy` sports drinks are chock full of sugar and caffeine? Avoid them as far as possible.
- Instead drink plenty of water - it will help you to flush out toxins.
- Limit your tea/coffee intake as far as possible.
- Consume nutritious snacks. Your daily diet must contain a lot of fibre.
- Foods like chips, candy, all deep fried foods, and whole milk products should be given the miss at night.
- As far as possible carry home made food - that way you can ensure you are getting nutritious food.
- Whatever time you wake up should be the best time for exercise. Your body gets a wake up alert with exercise because your body temperature gets raised.
- Avoid any form of exercise at least before two hours of your sleeping time. Sleeping will become difficult because of the raised body temperature and metabolic rate and you might end up trying to count sheep.
- Exercise till you perspire for at least three to four times a week. Each session should last for half an hour minimum.
- Most companies now provide recreation centres and gym facilities for employees. Check out on these and make the best use of them.
How to improve family life
- Have a frank talk with the family about the demands of a night shift. Make them understand your situation and the impact your job is having on you.
- Try to schedule time wit friends and family into your waking hours and off days.
- Try to make good friends in your work circle to make up for lost friendships due to the night shift.
- Hang up a big message board at home so that all the family members can exchange notes and inform each other about their plans for the day.
- Plan for family outings at least once a month.
How to tackle lack of alertness
- Always work in a brightly lit atmosphere
- Do not take up sensitive work that would involve important decisions when you are feeling sluggish
- Keep taking short walks either inside the work area or outside whenever you can do so
- Stretching exercises are very important. Keep stretching your limbs and changing your posture. Try to alternate between sitting, standing and walking whenever you find time. Snack on fruits and salads whenever you feel hungry. Avoid sweets that will give you a temporary high
- Try to take short power naps during break. This will rejuvenate you
- You could take a cup of tea or coffee - only when you really need to be shaken awake
- Try to vary your daily routine so that you don`t get stuck in a rut.
As you can see, you don`t have to get stressed out just because you are on a night shift. Tackle the problem sensibly and you will get on top of the situation in no time. Take good care of your health and you will be able to face any problem successfully.