Maintain a healthy lifestyle while working at night

I have been working in the BPO industry for 4 years now serving the US market for their customer service, social media, and recruitment needs. Since I work at night, I should follow the US daytime hours, which is night time here in Manila. Unfortunately, I am still not comfortable working at night. I always feel terrible sleeping when the sun is up and always feel sleepy during my shift. My body clock never adjusted to working a graveyard shift. The good thing is – I have managed to keep a healthy lifestyle and make sure I always go to work healthy and energized.

Every year has passed, I always make a new year resolution to make sure I survive this kind of lifestyle. I had numerous realizations in life that aside from working in the BPO industry set up, nothing makes it easier because I need to survive against the will of my body. It’s twice the stress!

It’s a high time for me to share how we can ensure that we maintain good health especially that night owls are more prone to sickness and poor lifestyle.

Maintain enough sleep and make sure nothing hinders your downtime

A normal person needs to sleep for at least eight (8) hours in a day. Our body needs to sleep so it can restore and rejuvenate to its original state, as well as boost its resistance against sickness. This is the most important downtime, especially when you stay awake at night. It is really challenging to maintain a sound sleep especially when there are busy people in your household.

I found it helpful to stay in a quiet place so you can sleep without any interruptions. It is helpful as well to cover your windows with thick dark curtains so the light will not pass through. When your body distinguishes the darkness, it becomes easier to fall asleep. When your body acquired enough rest, you will not find the need to sleep in between your work hours. I found it challenging to sleep at home when you sleep in the middle of your shift because the crave is no longer there.

Always find time to exercise

Our body needs to be worked out to maintain our good shape. Our metabolism gets slower and slower especially at night. It is very important to keep track of our exercise goals. Allot at least 30 minutes a day to jog within your neighborhood to keep a healthy heart, do some crunches or pushups to maintain a flat tummy and firm chest, and some stretching to keep our flexibility and maintain good posture.

Pick the right food by avoiding caffeine and junk foods

I repeat – our metabolism gets slower and slower especially at night. Which means the food that we consume at night is not as easy as digesting food during the day. This is because our body clock is not used to it – and will never be. When people do not get the right amount of sleep in a day, they rely on the food they eat so they can stay awake for the whole night. The most popular best friends of night owls are coffee and soft drinks. These drinks are rich in caffeine which is essential for the body. However, it is also bad when consumed more than the right amount and it may lead to negative health effects. As well as for soft drinks, it has a huge amount of sugar, which may lead you to obesity and grave diseases such as diabetes.

Avoid products that are rich in sugar such as sweets, and non-fiber carbohydrates like white bread. It’s best to eat whole foods such as vegetables, lean protein, eggs, and nuts. Better if you can also pair it up with fruits!

As much as possible maintain a “normal” day and night pattern of food intake. Which means, breakfast, lunch, and dinner should be consumed at its normal time. Aim to take these three meals in a day and at least minimize your intake at midnight. It is also advisable not to eat heavy meals 1-2 hours before you go to sleep.

Last and most important, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. I learned from my local church that the most appropriate amount of water intake is 50mL per kilogram (kg) of your weight. So if you are weighing 60kgs, it is advisable to drink 3000 mL (3 Liters) of water on a daily basis.

Make this a mantra – leave your worries behind and do what’s in your control

Probably this is the biggest reason why people lack sleep. It is because we keep on thinking things we should not worry about. We always think about money problems, broken relationships, the stressful workload, and all the things that break our soul. Always remember that it is normal for a person to have worries and fears, but don’t let those ruin your positivity and strength. Time management is highly recommended – by scheduling things that need to be done, which ones should be prioritized, and which ones need more time to complete. Seek help when you can’t do it alone, and stop when you really can’t. It’s great to allow a huge amount of time to be productive, but it is also recommended to rest when tired. You rest because you need to be stronger in order to finish our tasks and be more productive the next day.

Yes, it’s okay to rest when needed. A person is not designed to complete all things, and there are things that are completed outside our control. Sometimes, we just need to trust that. Here’s a powerful word for you:

It is useless to work so hard for a living, getting up early and going to bed late. For the Lord provides for those he loves, while they are asleep. – Psalm 127:2

Anything I missed? Comment down. Stay healthy for your loved ones!