For shift workers, unconventional schedules can take a toll on health and safety. In fact, research shows that people who sleep during the day often struggle with getting an adequate amount of rest.
What’s more, workers on a shift schedule tend to have poor eating habits and lack regular exercise, which can contribute to fatigue and stress. To combat these adverse health factors, shift workers should consider doing the following:
- Get enough rest before your shift begins. Eating well and getting plenty of exercise can help you sleep. If you are experiencing insomnia or other sleep issues, speak with your doctor.
- Take frequent breaks. If you begin to feel drowsy during the working day, consider going for a short walk or eating a healthy snack to re-energise.
- Hold your employer accountable when it comes to rotating schedules. Working one shift over and over can take a toll, and it’s important to have occasional variety.
- It’s important to be mindful about your scheduling, and avoid permanent or consecutive night shifts whenever possible. In addition, employees should be allowed to gradually change from night shifts to normal shifts, as this gives the body time to recover and adapt to a new schedule. Fatigue due to poor quality or lack of sleep can affect every aspect of an individual’s life, and can severely hamper one’s ability to perform at work. Speak to your GP if you are concerned about the quality of your sleep.