How to survive the Graveyard Shift

Discussion in 'F&F - Food and Fitness' started by JD666, Feb 24, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Grave yard shift.jpg
    And we don't mean the Movie based on Stephen King's story.

    Thanks to the booming BPO industry, we've all come across someone or the other who does night shifts. They are the creatures of the dark, and daytime is when they are best found under a pile of pillows and blankets blanking out any photons of light that might disturb their slumber.

    However it's not just the BPO industry workers that have to endure the graveyard shifts. People working in hospitals, airports, factories etc also all have night shifts that they have to do at some time or other.


    I've been doing Night shifts from time to time over the last 7 years. To begin with, it is not an easy task. Not at all. But over the years, there are some tips and tricks that I've found and implemented, that help make it as manageable as possible. In no particular order -

    Sleep -

    There's a lot of talk and discussion online, about sleep cycles and what affect they have on the body. And I tend to agree with every one of them :D

    My personal observation is that there is a rhythm to our bodies. We sleep at a particular time, we are at our most active at a particular time and our bowel movements are obviously at fixed times.

    Doing a night shift messes all of this up. However there are ways to ensure that they stay in sync.

    Now first up, just getting as much sleep as possible is not the solution. A lot of people just believe in sleeping as much as possible to gear up for the dreadful night shift. You need to time your rough sleep cycle (generally 6-7 hours), and try to sleep according to that.

    We can make do with 8 hours of sleep, some people can manage in even lesser. However, the next time you come home from work, just don't crash straight away to bed, time it, and time it in accordance with your wake up time.

    Waking up -

    Don't be a snoozer. I've mentioned that before in another article as well (Get-some sleep for insomniacs). Have one definite alarm, and one only. The pressure of having to wake up to one alarm only will ensure you will wake up on time. And you will get your additional sleep as well.

    Plan your shifts in advance -

    Which involves setting out your clothes, undies, shoes, gear, equipment etc before your sleep. This ensures maximum efficiency when you are at your groggiest best.

    Pack your food -

    Or as ubiquitous with Indian households, get one packed. Home food is any day a healthier option than all the greasy paranthas and fattening Maggi you can have at work. There are numerous cases of people in their late 20s/early 30s suffering from heart disorders/diabetes and what not. It should be scary enough to start eating healthy.

    Watch what you eat/When you eat -

    The above mentioned paranthas and Maggi can be really tempting after a day's (night's) long shift, but they will actually hamper your sleep, rest and body metabolism. Not only would you gain unwanted fat, but also feel pretty messed up because of your food.


    Avoid the sugar -


    In your beverages, hot and cold. Sugar free options do provide an alternate, however again, they are pumping your system with Sodium. Avoid sugar in your tea/coffee, you're getting enough of it from other sources as is.

    Eat fresh -

    Carry fruits/Salads with you. I prefer bananas, oranges, apples and sliced cucumber and carrots with some chaat masala. Not only do they keep your bowel movement going, they are much healthier at keeping your tummy full.

    No coffee in the dead hours -

    Try and implement this as a rule. Avoid coffee towards the last 3 hours of your shift, or until you fall asleep. Coffee, or rather the caffeine has a half life of about 1 hour. So after you take your first cup of coffee, the affects would last till about 3-3.5 hours. If you want to be able to go to sleep peacefully, this is an extremely important tip.

    Blank out the sounds and lights -

    Already detailed earlier, but essentially, keep your phones on silent, and try and sleep in as peaceful an environment as possible.

    Get some sunlight -

    One of the biggest issues. Not getting enough sunlight. Best taken early morning when you return from work, while having a light snack and reading the news paper.

    Don't become a zombie -

    Stay up to date with current affairs and news events. And real news events not Facebook or Twitter. This helps keep the brain sharp and alert.

    Enjoy your weekends -

    Party hard, but not every weekend. I had a nasty habit of boozing every weekend (and more often). The toll on your body is damning, something that would not be realized in the 20s, but definitely felt in the 30s. So spend time with your family, friends and step out of your world that is office and your bed room.

    Don't make it an excuse -

    It's not as hard as everyone paints it to be. Night shifts can be managed with a little bit of planning. You don't have to miss out on all the fun everyone else has. Might have to curb it a bit, but that's about it.


    I could go on and preach about smoking and exercising and the likes, but then stuff that I don't do myself, I should'nt be talking about :D

    Take care, do like and share if you liked what you read!
     
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  2. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    What if you have a dog that barks whenever someone enters house or when she is hungry and next door house is getting broken down with a heavy hammer machine and you have ear pain using ear blockers trying to sleep in your parent's room since 2 months?
     
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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Lol.. you need to change house asap :D
     
  4. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    Or change office shift?!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  5. Stuge

    Stuge RAID Rookie

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    Or shift the dog lol
     
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  6. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    Done. Parted with the dog. Now I keep my room open when I am out of house, sleep like a log, my folks can use my PC, Microsoft guest account set for brother. Room feels fresh all the time as I had to lock it all the time before when I was in the room and out of house. My bench (for press) is kept out with the power rack. It is peace over all. Mom also stated she sleeps way better now as the dog used to disturb her sleep too. No pets for a long long time now ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
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  7. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    And has it improved your productivity?
     
  8. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    Definitely better sleep and less anxiety at home:)
     

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