Working 9 – 5 (am): Staying Healthy On The Graveyard Shift

For many people, a 9 to 5 job is a nightmare. Others, however, dream of being able to keep such normal hours. Working the night shift is a regular occurrence for people who work lots of different jobs, or for those looking to make the transition from full-time employment to freelance. 

When I first decided I wanted a freelance career, I knew it meant I’d have to work twice as hard at the beginning to make it work. Why? Well, I wasn’t just going to leave my salary job and leap into uncertainty. On top of my management job, I had so much preparation to do, and not much free time – something had to give.

Working 9 - 5 (am): Staying Healthy On The Graveyard Shift | UK Lifestyle Blog

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Pulling all nighters preparing yourself for the future can be tough. You have to essentially build your business and work, while trying to juggle the rest of your life. I dedicated nights to working on my personal projects, and it wasn’t easy. What have I learnt? Sleep is SO important, and you absolutely cannot miss it.

I’m digressing! Staying healthy when you work overtime or nightshifts can be hard. If you find it a struggle, try these methods to feel better. They apply to those working the graveyard shift, and even those juggling hours.

Boosting your energy

Changing your sleep schedule, so you sleep during the day isn’t always easy. Once you’re in a routine, you can still find it hard. A lot of people who work night shifts find it tough to sleep when they get home. They then have difficulty waking up, and then they feel groggy during their shift.  You don’t want to feel like you have no focus or energy while you’re working.

You can find ways to boost your energy, so you feel more awake. Getting better quality sleep or improving your diet can both help you. Some people also take nootropics, which improve their focus and their energy levels.

Finding a schedule that works

When you work night shifts, you need to begin a new schedule. You now have to sleep during the day and work at night. But if you work an eight-hour shift and sleep for eight hours, that still leaves you with another eight to do other things.

So when is the best time to sleep? As soon as you get home, after some breakfast? Or is it better to stay up for a while, like you would if you were working during the day? Planning out when you sleep and for how long is important. You might even split your sleep into two so that you have part of the day to do things like grocery shopping.

Maintaining a healthy diet

Eating healthily can be more difficult when you work the night shift. It can feel like you have less time to cook, even though you should have the same number of free hours. Making sure you have healthy food at home and work is essential.

Planning out your meals will ensure that you don’t skip any or choose the quick and unhealthy option. If it helps, try freezing meals that you can easily heat up before or after a shift.

Recognise when night shifts aren’t for you

Some people aren’t built for night shifts. If they don’t work for you, it might be best to avoid working them. They can make you miserable and even cause exhaustion, depression, and anxiety.

If you need to get your boss to reschedule you, a note from your doctor could even be possible. If there’s no other option, finding a new job might be best. If you’re pulling all nighters to go freelance, it’s time to hand in your notice.

Don’t let working the working affect your health. Stay on top of it physically and mentally by being proactive.

Author: Sam Charles

Meet Sam, the creator behind UK lifestyle blog, Strawberry Squeeze 🍓 Sam is a newlywed living in Cornwall studying her PgDip in Strategic Direction and Leadership with the Chartered Management Institute 🍕🐰 She's also the Founder + Director of multi-award-winning SEO & PPC agency, Float Digital ✨

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