How Do You Stay Up All Night? The Best Survival Tips For Night Shift Workers

How Do You Stay Up All Night? The Best Survival Tips For Night Shift Workers
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 13 April, 2022

As parts of the world are in slumber, others rise to wake. The roosters do not crow, only their alarm clocks do. Under the moonlight, they begin their day, and at dawn, they crawl back under the covers. These are your night shift workers.

What are prime examples under this category? You have healthcare workers, hospitality and tourism professionals, and the BPO industry members are just some of them. Usually, these people include a graveyard shift in their working schedule. The timeframe of this type of shift is usually from afternoon or evening to early morning.

Unlike other professionals, night shift workers also juggle the daytime shift as well. Their supervisors usually rotate their schedules so each employee gets a fair share of night and day work.

But even if the length of work for day and night rarely differ, does working the night shift really impact you? Let us take a look.

Does working the night shift affect your health?

A study by The Journal of International Women Studies shed light on the correlation between mental health and night shift work. Diving deep into its details reveals that night shift workers are more likely to develop negative mental health effects. On top of that, there may be risks that can affect physical health as well.

Our bodies have a circadian rhythm that regulates our sleep cycles. This guard over our slumber schedules spills over to our digestion, our heart, and our body temperature. As human beings, we are diurnal beings. In other words, we are daytime beings. Our rhythms move to the beat of waking with the sun and sleeping with the moon.

Going off-schedule by a few hours will not affect our bodies so much. But if it stretches out over a couple of days, it may take a toll on our bodies at some point.

But if your company requires a night shift, there is something you can definitely do about it. There is a possibility that good health and sleeping opposite your body's schedule can band together.

How do you do that? Here are some tips.

(Also read: De-Stressing Over Lunch )

How can I make my night shift easier?

This is a question that professionals usually ask. We break this down further and give you three tips each for the before, during, and after parts of your night shift. But the most important thing you have to remember to conquer this is consistency.

What does this mean? You may not be able to control your schedule, but you can maneuver how you can work around it. The way to properly manage our circadian rhythms is through a routine.

Usually, you receive your schedules in advance, and that includes your day, night, and off times. It is advisable that you lump your night shifts together so that you do not keep switching your sleep times.

Once you have a routine, you can integrate the rest of these tips to stay healthy during the graveyard shift.

Before your shift

Eat a healthy meal

Staying up at humanly odd hours is already taxing enough for your body. If you include a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet with it, your risk for disease skyrockets even further.

Responding to a late shift with a healthy meal can help you maintain your blood sugar levels and take care of your heart at the same time.

Aside from that, your stomach will thank you. Eating a nutritious meal can calm your digestive tract, plus you add vitamins and minerals there too.

Refrain from drinking alcoholÂ

While late nights are made forpulutan, indulging in these can tempt you to stay up longer and tire you out before your next shift. Aside from that, your liver can also experience aggravation. Reserve your urge to get tipsy for your off days or on your normal schedule to avoid detriments to your health.

Prepare your room

Experts share that sleeping during the daytime is worse than nighttime because of noise, light, and certain distractions. If you are living with your family or with roommates on a daytime schedule, chances are they could be raucous too. What you can do to prepare for your shift is to create a respective mood to acclimatize to your hours of rest. You can also slip in a few naps in between to stay rested.

You can invest in blackout curtains to shut out the light or wear earplugs to flush out the noise. If you are living alone, this is manageable. But if you have a house or condominium full of people, inform and have them on board too.

During your shift

Bring light to your work area

Just as you have brought the night to your home, so should you bring light to the office. The reason you are doing this is to stop your body from releasing melatonin, the sleep hormone. In doing so, you are tricking your system into staying awake. Put all the lights on if you have to.

After your shift finishes, dim your lights so that you can alert your body that it is time to go home and rest.

Be on the move

Sitting idly by can both keep you from being productive and from staying awake. Fight the urge to do so by constantly moving about. Whether it be walking to your co-worker or multi-tasking, being in motion will bring about the energy you need to stay up.

If you are on break, you can spend your free time walking around instead and only sitting down if you have to eat.

Snack between breaks

Silence the grumbles in your stomach with some in-between meals to keep your digestive tract on its toes. Snack on healthy little bites like nuts and fruits to keep you with just the right amount of energy and nutrients.

If you need a heavier meal, you can opt for heart-healthy options like salads, fish, meat, and the like. On your night shift, it is best to avoid binging on junk food and sweets so as not to spike sugar levels.

After your shift


It may be tempting to stay awake after your shift. Unless your night shift is over for the given schedule, head home right away to rest. Deviating from your schedule could shake you up in the worst way and send your body careening towards terrible health.

If you are heading home, you can wear sunglasses to block or dim the light to trick your body. Once you arrive, do your nightly routine and get some shut-eye.

Keep your gadgets at bay

The biggest deterrent to your sleep cycle is checking your phone. Aside from the notification pings on social media, your cell emits blue light. This type of light mimics that of daylight, which gives a wake-up call signal to your brain.

If possible, charge your phone in a separate room or put it on Do Not Disturb mode the minute you get home. Save your Netflix binging for your off days because proper hours of slumber are crucial at this time.

Eat a light meal

If your stomach is grumbling and you are nearing the shift's end, eat light. This is what you refer to as nutrient timing. Make sure it is only sufficient to silence your digestive system and not more than that. Aside from this, eat two hours before you head home so as not to disrupt your sleep schedule.

The night shift can bring about a lot of worry and anxiety for most people. But know that you are not alone. There are a number of professionals who are burning the midnight oil with you. Stick to your schedule and remain consistent. After that, you get to enjoy and have a blast on your off days.

Stay healthy!

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