Working the night shift is unavoidable for a few professionals. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicines, more than 2,000 women were evaluated for the risks of night work. It was found that these women were more likely to suffer from breast cancer when compared to their counterparts who didn’t work the night shift.
Working the night shift for a longer period can cause harm to your body and result in a disorder called Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD). Some of the symptoms of Shift Work Sleep Disorder are as follows:
- Lack of concentration
- Short temper
- Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep pattern
- Hair fall
- Dry and dull skin
Ayurveda explains that staying awake during the night for a continuous period increases the vata dryness in the body. Thus, to balance this dryness in the body, it is highly beneficial to have a teaspoon of ghee while going out for work at night. Working at night also puts a significant strain on the nervous system as your body is going against the grain of nature’s rhythm.
One of the best ways to deal with such chronic stress is to take the help of adaptogens. One of the most popular adaptogens is Ashwagandha. It has the ability to support the energy in the body. It also helps in calming down the nervous system, thus letting you have a good sleep.
Mentioned below are a few health tips that may help night shift workers.
Some Health Tips For Night Shift Workers
- Since hair loss is a very common symptom of Shift Work Sleep Disorder, it is important to take proper care of your hair. Apply and massage hair oil regularly to your scalp and the length of your hair. Some of the best recommended Ayurvedic hair oils are Bhringa Amalaka Taila and Brahmi Taila.
- As you do not get to sleep during weekdays, try to make good use of the weekends and holidays and sleep as much as you can.
- You can also go for a body massage or steam therapy once a week as it will help your body relax, relieve body pains, and promote blood circulation.
- Disturbed sleep is yet another symptom of Shift Work Sleep Disorder. So, whenever you go to bed, make sure that your room is dark enough and away from disturbance so that you can have a peaceful sleep. Keep your gadgets away as they might distract you.
- You can perform simple and basic yoga poses daily, such as Vajrasana or Pranayama, for a couple of minutes. They can help you keep away from irritation and increase your concentration levels.
Some Diet Tips For Night Shift Workers
- Normally, we end our day by having dinner. However, for people who work in night shifts, their cycle starts with dinner. So, if your shift starts at 7 pm or later than that, you must not try to compensate with the timings of your work and think that you’ll have your dinner at midnight. Instead, eat your food and then start for work.
But, if your shift starts around 4-5 pm and ends by 1 am, try to have your dinner by 7:30-8 pm.
Maintaining proper dinner timings is very crucial for night shift workers. Many people try to avoid having dinner, thinking that it will make them feel sleepy. But, trust me, it’s not a good practice at all.
- If feeling sleepy is a major concern for you after having dinner, have something light for your dinner like brown rice with veggies or dal. Or you can also eat upma or idli, but try not to avoid veggies as they are very important to avoid acidity.
- Try to avoid oily foods as they will make you feel bloated and heavy. They may also lead to acidity.
- In order to remain awake and active, people drink a countless number of cups of tea or coffee, which is actually not good for your health. You must keep your body hydrated if you wish to remain active, and you can do so by sipping liquids in the form of water or juices every half an hour. Try this and see how it works.
- Feeling hungry at night is quite common, and whenever you feel so, opt for healthy snacks such as roasted almonds, flaxseeds, peanuts, upma or poha rather than having pizzas or burgers. This will help you maintain your weight and also prevent you from overeating.
- Antioxidants are very important for your body as they provide various health benefits. Try to include foods with vibrant colors in your diet such as berries or green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.
We hope these tips will help you avoid the usual perils of working the night shift. If you have any other tips for night shift, please share them in the comments box below.
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