Much of today’s skincare recommendations are for people who work 9 to 5, but what about people who work third shift? Practicing smart skincare is just as important from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. as it for those who work daytime hours. One common misconception is that people who work the night shift don’t have to worry about some of the same issues as those who work day shift, but this just isn’t the case. In fact, working at night may mean you have to work harder to keep your skin healthy. Our bodies naturally want to sleep during the night and most of us get our deepest, most effective, sleep during the very early morning hours. Working all night puts additional stress on your body and tired skin is unhappy skin.
Common problems for people working third shift is obesity, stress, early signs of aging, irregular eating habits and hair loss. Problems can worsen when night workers try to stay awake during the daytime hours on their days off. Once this is attempted, their regular sleep schedule is also disrupted.
Sleep is an important part of staying healthy. Lack of sleep not only affects how you feel but also how your skin, hair, and nails look. The less healthy we feel, the less healthy we tend to live. Many night shift workers suffer from shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). Symptoms of SWSD include insomnia, excessive sleepiness, lack of energy, concentration problems, frequent headaches, problems with memory and the inability to focus on tasks. These issues can lead to more serious problems, such as increased illnesses, increased accidents, making more work-related errors and increased mood instability. You are also at higher risk for developing heart disease and gastrointestinal disease if you work the night shift for ten years or more.
Obviously, the best solution for this issue would be to try to switch to a day shift position, but this isn’t always an option. There are several things you can do to help. For starter, reduce the amount of caffeine you drink, specifically towards the end of your shift. Stop caffeine intake at least four hours before your shift ends. You should stick to a normal routine at all times, including following the same bed and waking times daily. Help ensure there are no interruptions to your sleep by turning off your phone ringer and letting people know when to avoid contacting you. Block out the daylight with heavy curtains.
Keep in mind that it takes between six and eight hours to begin to digest food. It is important that you eat at least five hours before going to bed, so if you are planning on going to bed immediately when you get home, eat five hours before your shift is over. This way your body has the opportunity to properly digest your food without disrupting your sleep. Digestion problems can lead to acne, which is a skin condition.
It is also important to keep yourself hydrated. Your skin needs just as much water during the night time as it does during the daylight hours. Be sure to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. If you drink ice-cold water, your body will have to work harder to warm it up, which will help keep your metabolism high. This can fight obesity and help keep you feeling energized. This is all very important for keeping your body healthy, inside and out.
If you have time during breaks, take short walks. This will also tell your body that this is its awake time and that sleep time will be later. Your skin will stay healthy if it is exercised regularly.
Be sure to take your vitamins and choose snacks and that is vitamin-enriched, such as fruits and vegetables. It’s important to treat your body as you would during the day even though you’re doing daytime activity during the night. Avoid lots of carbohydrates, which ultimately turn into sugar. Taking in excessive sugar is not healthy for your body. Pay attention to how much sugar is in what you’re eating. Manufacturers will often put in excessive amounts of sugar into store-bought items. It’s always better to add your own sugar. Keep in mind that 4 grams of sugar equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar. Men are not supposed to consume more than 8 teaspoons of sugar a day and women only 6 teaspoons. That’s no more than 24 grams of sugar a day for women and 32 grams of sugar a day for men.
You will need to apply sunscreen early in the morning when the sun comes out. Be aware that the sun can still damage your skin through a window. Make sure you follow a good skin care regimen before you begin work and when you’re done with work. This should include a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.