aprylx asked in HealthWomen's Health · 1 decade ago

Graveyard Shift. Bad for your health?

I have been working as a night auditor at a hotel for the past 3 months, I really enjoy the job, it's completely stress free. My body has finally adjusted, but I have found my sleep patterns have been thrown off a bit and on the weekends (my days off) I only sleep for maybe 5 hours each day. Most of the time I wake up for a few minutes and then I think of all of the things I want/need to do...and then I get up. I was just wondering if anyone has had an experience like this and how they dealt with it. I have also noticed a change in my weight and I have gained almost 10 pounds in the past few months. Any suggestions on how to make time for exersize, or how much.how often I should eat? I appreciate your help, thank you!!!!

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  • C J
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    I've been working the nightshift off and on for the past 30 years. Truthfully, your body never really gets used to it. We're not nocturnal creatures, we're designed to sleep at night. As nightshift workers, we have to "con" our bodies into thinking that we're sleeping at night, or we're going to suffer.

    There are several ways to do nightshift. It depends on your home environment.

    Make your bedroom as dark as you possibly can. Tint the windows, or cover them with something to completely blacken out any light in your room.

    Turn off your telephone. People are under the impression constantly that just because they work in the day and sleep at night, you do too. Not true. People will call you all the time and say, "Did I wake you up?" And you will have a hard time getting that needed sleep your body needs.

    Run all of your errands BEFORE going to bed. Get all of your business done, so that you can get as much uninterupted sleep as you can.

    Don't rely on sleeping pills, even the over-the-counter ones. It's artificial sleep, and you will pay for it dearly.

    Just as your sleep patterns are going to be different, so will your eating habits. I found a crock pot to be my best friend. Take a roast, some carrots, potatoes, onions, etc.... toss it in there before going to bed. Sleep all day, and when you wake up, one nutritous meal waiting on you. You can't overcook it, or burn it. Just load it up, turn it on low, and go to bed. Take a meal to work with you. Then you will at least get two good meals per day. Once you are up, you have time to exercise. I have a Bowflex gym and a stationary bike. I try to knock out 20-30 mins every other day. Nightshift can make you soft if you let it, because you are reducing your physical activities.

    I usually lay off the caffiene after 4:00am. It's ok to pour down the coffee before then. But after 4:00am, I stop because I want most of the effects of the caffiene to wear off before morning so I can go to bed and sleep.

    On your "Friday", try to sleep maybe 2 hours when you get home. You don't want to waste your whole day off in bed. I know it's tough to function, but you'll get used to it. And then that night, go to bed and sleep all night like a human being.

    On the day that you have to go back to shift work, stay up all day, but in the evening, around 5:00pm, or 6:00pm, go to bed and get 5-6 hours sleep before your shift. Then you will have enough rest to get you through work, without feeling the effects too badly.

    It takes time getting into a routine. And you might have to adjust a little here and there to get your body with the program. Yes, nightshift is less stressful, depending on the job you do, but like I said, we're not hard wired to be nocturnal. So we have to "fool" our bodies into thinking we're getting enough sleep.

    One more thing........once you get a pattern going, don't deviate from it, if you can help it. Or you will be hurting all night!

    Best wishes!

  • iswd1
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I am a truck driver. Where I work (Texas oil fields) we work 15 hour shifts, 4 days on, 1 off, 4 on, 1 off, 4 on 1 off, and then 4 on 2 off (1 weekend a month basically). Now and then, we are required to work evening shifts (Start 6 pm, end 9 am) and then take a full day off and be back to work the next morning. Our sleep patterns are constantly interupted by this, and by the sheer fact that we cannot go home, go straight to bed and then get up and repeat the day. We need some time too, so most of us get 4 - 5 hours of sleep a day. Bad indeed for your health.

    As for exercising, the best way is to join a gym that is open 24 hours, or if your shift ends at say, 8 am, gym should be open. Put aside an hour or 2 a day AFTER work to go to the gym. If you have errands, skip it that day, and use those 2 hours to do your shopping, or whatever. You will find that you will sleep better after a workout, and you will feel better being able to do stuff every day. Your sleep patterns will also align themselves perfectly with this 2 hour period, and you should start getting more sleep.

    Don't try too hard, let it come naturally and you'll be ok :)

  • 1 decade ago

    Let me tell you something, if all you have to worry about is a weekend adjustment, you're ok, because the usual problem is the full week, being able to sleep I had lunch with the reknowned Dr. Robert White years ago and he was very helpful to me, a good man. Basically he left me with the impression that we work against our body clock and this"third" eye theory and research is real! I entreat you to lower the lights and drink no caffeine at all! Further, Implore breathing techniques, and take the breaks of 10 mins to close eyes and replenish! (use your cell to wake you). High protein and not eating after 6 is essential, as well as the water and the salads, along w/the walking! All the best!

  • 1 decade ago

    I like working the night shift, I always volunteer for it. From what you say, you're worried about work and that's why you can't sleep, so that doesn't have anything to do with being on the night shift. And you're probably gaining weight because you're not doing much. Just remember to eat less if you're not going to be moving around much. Or better, try to exercise more.

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  • 1 decade ago

    try taking sleeping pills?

    and less sleep does make people gain weight.

    when you get about 7 or 8 hours of sleep go work out when u wake up, it can be a small jog or weight training. and eat 4 to 5 small healthy meals and take a multivitamin.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes hun, its unhealthly... your body has to adjust each and everything you do something different. eating patterns, sleeping patterns, toilet patterns....every patten get upset with your life style... take it easy

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