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How to Transition to 3rd Shift, Safely
Posted on 05/19 by Erin Helms
If you are a first shift warehouse or manufacturing employee transitioning to the 3rd shift, the move can be rocky. You will find yourself fighting off drowsiness, fatigue, and brain fog if you get it wrong. The transition can also be unsafe for you and your co-workers if you attempt to work on a limited amount of rest. Here are tips to help you transition to the 3rd shift safely.
Manage Your Sleep Patterns
Humans sleep at night. Natural light and dark cycles influence our circadian rhythm, with specific processes being active at night and others causing the body to feel less alert and sleepy. 3rd shift causes the body to fight against the natural rhythms by being alert when programmed to sleep. To be safe when working the 3rd shift, you must successfully manage your sleep during the day. Try these suggestions: Do not delay going to bed Dedicate time to sleep Eat or drink before going to bed Avoid alcohol before going to bed Avoid smoking before going to bed
Control Light Exposure
When you expose yourself to light, it triggers chemicals in the circadian pacemaker, affecting your sleep and wake cycles. Artificial light has the same effect as sunlight. Try to increase your exposure to bright light during your shift and decrease light exposure after your shift. Use blackout blinds, curtains, or a sleep mask to block out daylight in your bedroom. Avoid the television and switch off any digital devices in your bedroom.
Monitor Your Diet
Metabolism is off-balance when your daily rhythm is out of sync. The result is that night shift workers are more likely to be large or obese due to inadequate diet and the disruption of the body clock. Try these meal planning ideas to help you stay alert during your working hours and be more relaxed for sleep at the end of your shift: Follow similar eating patterns as you would during the daytime Eat little and often Choose easy-to-digest foods Avoid any foods that are tough to digest Stay away from sugary foods Snack on fruits and vegetables Keep hydrated
Use Caffeine Wisely
Caffeine is a stimulant that, when used wisely, can help you remain alert during your shift. However, improper use can cause gastrointestinal upset and muscle shakes. Instead of taking a massive dose of caffeine at the start of your shift, consider taking smaller and more frequent amounts of caffeine throughout the night. You will be more awake and less prone to accidents than those with no caffeine. If you are a warehouse or manufacturing professional, contact LaborMAX for job opportunities in your area.
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