Survival 101: Working On A Graveyard Shift

Wouldn’t it be dandy to actually be able to see daylight? How about greeting your neighbors good morning with a smile rather than a stressful after-work grumble? Working in a graveyard shift will certainly take a toll on one’s body. However, attem

Wouldn’t it be dandy to actually be able to see daylight? How about greeting your neighbors good morning with a smile rather than a stressful after-work grumble? Working in a graveyard shift will certainly take a toll on one’s body. However, attempting to adjust and adapt in a world that operates during the day adds a tad more stress.

It is a fact that one cannot demand that everybody wind down their systems during daytime, nonetheless, there are a handful of things that one can do in order to survive a nocturnal lifestyle.

Proper Food Intake

The body needs nutrition and everybody knows that. But it appears that graveyard shift lures people to munch on junk food. And in all fairness, said combo works well together. Variation and healthy food may seem a luxury when every establishment is ready to call it a day---and you are just starting yours. With that said, learn to pack your own meal, or even a snack. Stow away your chips and other MSG-loaded repacked fare. Try fruits. Try vegetables. If you have time, make your favorite salad. This will provide you with the needed energy to support you throughout the day---err, I mean night.

As for meals, you ca never go wrong with nutritional lunch packs. Be sure to eat a hearty meal before heading to your workplace. Be cautious of those businesses claiming that their products will keep you awake. Little do you know that it will indeed keep you awake, for a short period of time that is. After that, your body will simply crash the gates of snoreville.

The Choice OF Drink

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. There should be a limit with one’s caffeine intake. There are those who cannot function well without gulping a cup or two (or more) of strong black coffee. Its effect will linger longer than you would want to. You might even find yourself wide awake in the middle of the day.

I suggest that you perform a caffeine check just to establish the time when to drink coffee and still be able to sleep once you dismount from work. Liquid intake in general is good thing. One should remain hydrated, but please do not over do it. You might be staying longer in the washroom than in your cubicle and spending more time releasing liquids than realizing zzz’s.

Getting Physical

If you spend a little time stretching those muscles before going to work, you will be wide awake and fully energized. If you find yourself worshiping your computer monitor, bowing in front of the cash register, or with your noggin bouncing off the steering wheel, then stop whatever you are doing. Take a few minutes off and start doing what your Physical Ed teacher taught you: jumping jacks, squats, and those knee bends. Or if you want a little more discreet wake up call, try brisk walking, run up and down the stairs, perform your world-famous version of square dance. But seriously, an active body stimulates the brain and switches it back up.

Sleep

When everybody else around you is up and running, how can you sleep? And with the continuous flow of coffee from Starbucks, how can you? One should understand that the body needs enough sleep. That means 6 to 8, or even 9 hours. If you have to pay the bills or run errands, do it in your early AM hours. Make early appointments to be able to get plenty of sleep.

Purchase dark-colored curtains or blinds. This will darken the room making it more conducive for dozing off. Try to keep the noise at a minimum. Turn off your radio, TV, and mobile phones if you can. But do not forget to keep one communication line open. Either pull the plug of your telephone or turn off your mobile phone. Oh and do not forget to set your alarm clock.

Maintain A Constant Schedule

On weekends or days off, keep that nocturnal schedule. Sleep during the day, do activities in the evening. This will create a pattern where your body will get accustomed to sooner or later.

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carol roach
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Posted on Nov 30, 2009