Some of us work the day shift—others, the night shift. But if you’re working a swing shift, you have the responsibility of fitting in both. This can be difficult on your sleep schedule and your body in general, which will never quite know when it’s time to work and time to sleep. Still, you can take steps to make a swing shift job easier on yourself.
Five tips for successful swing shift weeks
If you’re a light industrial worker who works a varying schedule, try the following tips to help your body adjust:
1. Get as much rest the day before your shift as possible.
Let’s say you’ve worked a day shift and your next shift is a night shift. Try to get as much sleep as possible after your day shift to prepare for your consecutive night shift. Take a nap when you get home, get to bed on time and sleep in. Even take another nap before your next shift. The more you allow your body to rest, the more alert you’ll be during your working hours.
2. Think of food as fuel.
When you’re gassing up a car, you want to add the highest grade fuel possible to help the engine run smoothly. Your body is the same way. Eat well, especially during your work shifts. Each meal should include lean protein, fiber, and produce. A good example of a healthy lunch is: a turkey sandwich with tomato and cheese on whole wheat bread, an apple and a cup of yogurt. Also pack healthy snacks for during your shift, such as dried and fresh fruit, nuts or trial mix, hummus and pita or veggies, and yogurt. High-fat, greasy meals and sugary snacks will make you feel drained.
3. Stay hydrated and don’t rely on coffee.
Water is the best choice for hydration. Coffee works to wake you up temporarily, but the long-term effects will be a caffeine crash.
4. Keep your mind and body active.
This could include talking to your coworkers, taking regular breaks to listen to music or do a crossword puzzle, or taking a break to stand up, stretch and move around. When not at work, it’s also important to get regular exercise to help your muscles and cardiovascular system stay in good shape.
5. Accept that you may feel tired during work.
You may not always have energy from the beginning of your shift to the end. Instead of worrying about feeling tired, focus on your work and getting your tasks done, and look forward to resting when you get home.
Do your best
Try out the above tips and see what works best for you. In general, it’s a good idea to take care of your body to help it run at its best.
Looking for your next light industrial job?
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