Thursday, August 6, 2015

Vampires, College Students and the Graveyard Shift

Kind of sounds like the title of a bad horror flick.

Have you guessed what all three have in common?

That’s right, they like or need to stay up during the night.

Now the only way vampires can survive is to sleep during the day so they don’t need our help with this.

What about the other two? Let’s find out why third shift and college students are up until the wee hours of the morning.
With third shift workers, most have chosen to work this odd work routine for financial or time saving reasons.

Pay Rate -  Most night shifts come with differential rate or an increase percentage of pay to compensate.

Daycare -   When one parent is working days and the other is working nights, this lessens the financial burden of the need to pay for childcare. 

Commute - The drive time as well as the stress of traffic is reduced.

Night Owl - People are more efficient when they work at night.

Now college students have completely different reasons for staying up late.

Socializing - I don’t think I need to elaborate on this.

Sleep late -  Most students schedule their classes so they are able to studying or party at night and sleep in the next day.

Work -  Quite a few students have to pay their way through school so in order to do this they have to get evening or 3rd shift jobs.

So what do these people do to stay awake and alert through the night.

Trick #1
Soda/Diet Soda
Many people use the caffeine in soda to help them stay awake. 

Negative Side Effects
  • The refined sugars will make you gain weight. Yes, even diet soda will.
  • Health risks with aspartame 
  • Acid reflux
  • Dental Problems, breaks down tooth enamel, increase in cavities 
  • Difficult to get to sleep after your shift

Trick #2
Energy Drinks
For more of a kick than soda, energy drinks are the preferred beverage of young adults.

Negative Side Effects
  • Weight gain
  • Energy drinks elevate your blood sugar very quickly and then your levels drop drastically. This creates a“crash and burn” effect. You start feeling sleepy and sluggish which is the complete opposite of what you want. So to get that alertness back, you need to gulp another energy drink.
  • Long term use can cause stress on the body organs
  • acid reflux
  • Dental problems
  • Can disrupt on your sleep cycle 

Trick #3
Probably, the most available source of caffeine is coffee. You can purchase it practically anywhere, you can take it with you in a thermos or use a coffee pot at work.

Negative Side Effects  
  • Can cause additional stress, increases your heart rate, blood pressure and tension level
  • Irritates your stomach and lining of the small intestine. This can cause problems for people who suffer from ulcers, IBS or Crohn’s disease.
  • acid reflux
  • Hinders mineral absorption by affecting your stomach

My suggestions would be the following:
  1. Get plenty of rest. Try to sleep 7-8 hrs. a day. For some, coming home and sleeping a straight 8 hours can be difficult because of daylight or traffic noise. So you could sleep for 4 hours in the morning, run errands or workout in the afternoon and then sleep 3-4 hours before you go into work.
  2. Eat light meals with fruits and vegetables.
  3. Drink plenty of water to help hydrate you.
  4. If you must stay awake during the night and need that extra boost to keep you energized, look for a healthier alternate.  My recommendation is REV 3 Energy Surge. 

Oh, and some chocolate doesn’t hurt either.

To your creatively healthy life!

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