The human body is such that it has a definite schedule for everything. There is a definite time when you head to bed, a time when you wake up, ones where you eat and other times when you would rather fast. Working in shifts hampers all of this. As a result, all of this takes a direct toll on your body and you end up falling sick more often. This is especially true for people who work in shifts for a prolonged period of time.
Now, with the world becoming a global village, it is inevitable that people in one part of the globe will be rendering their services to people at the other end. The same can be said about the IT, BPO, medical and legal transcription sectors of the Indian economy.
At least a section of the people working in these sectors will be working in a time zone that is different from that of their own. This does not mean that there is absolutely no way by which they can lead a healthy lifestyle. This article talks about 6 tips that can help people working in shifts make the required lifestyle changes and shift to a healthier lifestyle.
1. Stay Hydrated
Keeping away from a regular shift means that your hydration schedule is often hampered. It is often seen that the lack of water consumption is the primary cause of health ailments in people working shifts. To identify if you are one of the victims of the same, the easiest thing to do would be to access the frequency with which you go to pee.
If you find that you are not peeing for more than 4 hours straight on a work day, you need to increase your water intake. To correctly identify the amount of water that your body will need, access your body weight and find out the value.
Once that is done, make conscious efforts to ensure that you stick to your target water intake quantity. That way you will do your part in keeping all your cells and organs happy.
2. Caffeine Intake
All of us are well aware of the role of caffeine in keeping a person awake. However, overdoing this may result in the same losing its impact on your body. In the worst case scenario, what may happen is that you may end up feeling sleepy at times when you are not supposed to and being wide awake at other times.
That is why it is important to schedule your caffeine intake. What you can do is set a schedule wherein you do not consume any form of caffeine 2-3 hours before you sleep. One of the best ways to restrict your caffeine intake would be by identifying the part of the day (or night) when you are likely to be most sleepy and then ensuring that you consume coffee or any other form of caffeine only during that time of the day.
3. Have Some Hobbies
We understand that working in shifts is a pretty taxing task and you hardly find any time for yourself. However, in spite of it all, it is important for you to find some time wherein you do something that is not related to your work. This will help you maintain your sanity and look forward to life.
You may either choose to get back to some old hobby or take up something new. Either way, you will find yourself being more productive at work if you can think of something outside work that interests you.
4. Chocolates, Candies And Mint
For many people working in shifts, it is a near-impossible task to give up on caffeine. To help you through that, we would suggest alternate measures like taking chocolates or candies. However, the usage of the same in large quantities is not encouraged.
You may also consider taking to mints or chewing gum. If you would like to go the natural way, you can try popping a cinnamon stick into your mouth when you feel sleepy. This will not just ensure fresh breath but will keep sleep and tiredness at bay.
5. Eat Healthy
While maintaining a healthy diet is necessary for every person, the same becomes all the way more important for people working in shifts. By consuming lots of green and leafy vegetables that are loaded with the goodness of vitamins and minerals, you can make up for the loss of the same that occurs in your body due to your alternate sleep patterns.
The extra fibre that you consume will ensure smoother bowel movements (which is often a cause of concern for people working in rotational shifts). Take special care to ensure that you limit your carbohydrate intake. This is especially true in the case of having chips and French fries as sides.
Try to restrict your carbohydrate intake to the different forms of bread or rice that you consume after waking up. Maintaining a high carbohydrate diet during your shift is bound to take a toll on your health.
6. Maintain The Same Patterns On Week-offs As Well
We understand that weekends (or week-offs) are what you look forward to with all eagerness. However, your body does not really understand the concept of weekends. Thus, if you want to keep your body healthy, the best thing to do would be to stick to the same sleep patterns (and consequent wake up time) during weekends as well.
That way, your biological clock will not be disturbed and you will have higher chances of having a sound sleep. As a result, you will feel much fresher and active during the day. With a little bit of planning and the support of your friends and family, it is possible to enjoy your life and do all that you always wanted even while sticking to your shift-based sleep schedule.