Shift work is becoming more and more common among adults these days. No matter what your trade, or profession is, there is a good chance that you may have to work a second shift, or even a third shift.
Third shift jobs are very unique in the fact that while most people are sleeping at night, you are wide awake, working away. Third shift jobs can be a pretty demanding way to work, and it can take months for your body to fully adjust to such an odd schedule. If you are working a third shift job, or you are considering taking a job with unusual hours, there are a few things that can help you get used to it:
Buy blackout curtains.
To help get some sleep during the day, a lot of people who work third shifts choose to buy blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are exactly what they sound like. They keep your bedroom nice and dark, so you don’t have to worry about the sun peaking in on you.
Start changing your sleep schedule as soon as possible.
As soon as you are able to, you should start to change your sleep schedule. A lot of people choose to force themselves to stay awake all night the first time they do that, and then sleep all day. The earlier you can do this, and create a routine, the better.
Try to keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible.
This is really hard to do, especially since most people you associate with outside of your job will be on a different schedule. If you have things that you must do in the mornings after work, then go ahead and do it, but if you don’t stick to a routine it’s going to make it harder for you to stay alert and focused at night.
Take care of your body!
Working a third shift is something that your body is not meant to get used to, so there are some adverse affects to your health. Working third shifts can weaken your immune system, cause a decrease in overall energy levels, and even cause insomnia and indigestion. It is important to remember to eat right, and exercise often. Just by doing these two things alone you can help yourself to sleep better, and give yourself more energy. Try to remember to resist drinking loads of coffee, and energy drinks to make up for your lack of sleep. All that will do is give you a caffeine crash, and make you feel worse than before.
Do not give up sleep for your social life (and vice versa).
As I keep reminding you, it is important to remember to get enough sleep. With that being said, I totally understand how tempting it can be to want to go do something with your friends during the day when you should be asleep.
On the opposite note, do not get into a habit of sleeping all day. If you sleep too much, you are sacrificing your personal life, and contact with the sun; this is both physically and psychologically not good for you. By isolating yourself in the night like this, you can give yourself what I like to call “The Third Shift Blues”. The Third Shift Blues is where you sleep all day and wake up with just enough time to do nothing that you enjoy and head off to work for a night of wishing you were anywhere but there.
It is a fact that working odd hours like this is not for every one. I don’t think that anybody could ever become completely used to working third shifts, but by following these tips, the process can become completely manageable for most people.
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