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Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

Post Series: Business

Sleep Deprivation and Self-Care

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries.  Your time and energy are precious.  You get to choose how you use it.  You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

Sleep Deprivation

I’ve been working the overnight shift for the better part of 3 and 1/2 months now on special assignment; and, I have to tell you that working the graveyard shift at 40 is different than working it at 24.  It doesn’t get easier as the days pass by and your body doesn’t adjust.  Back when I was at the Q, I worked the night shift for a few years and I loved it.  Why?  Well, quite frankly, there was less traffic and less operational challenges occurring in rapid succession.  A generally serene and undisturbed work environment.  But, I digress.

Most adults know that working the overnight shift is not normal.  That is, our bodies are not designed to be up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, working and carrying on like it’s 11 o’clock in the morning.  Especially if and when our work hours are on a constant, no-rhyme-or-reason rollercoaster ride of endless change.  Our circadian rhythm (that internal clock) goes berserk when consistency and healthy habits and patterns go out the window, oftentimes through no fault of our own.


In a city, state, country, and planet that never sleeps, having no one working overnight is just not an option.  Which begs the question, For those who are forced to work overnight, what can they do to maintain some sort of normalcy in terms of their health and wellbeing?  Well, it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all answer.  For me, getting as much sleep as I possibly can is at the top of the list, followed by healthy eating (including no eating after 6 pm), getting checkups when needed, spending time with family, friends, and like-minded business professionals, and making a conscious effort to stay away from toxic people and refusing to digest any rancorous, amoral, and duplicitous beliefs and behaviors. Not an easy feat when you may be in the midst of such individuals.

Do you work the night shift?  Well, then, take the requisite time to engage in necessary self-care activities to keep yourself at your optimal work/life performance.  A word of caution though …. fight the urge to pick up that cigarette, grab that bottle of alcohol, or eat that family size Lay’s Potato Chips or 1/2 gallon of ice cream.  As adults, we have the tendency to tell ourselves we can do what we want to do and throw caution to the wind, just this one time.  Self-care is not indulging in reckless and harmful behavior.  What sense does it make to add obesity, extreme inflammation, gout, and other diseases on top of sleep deprivation?  Of course, there’s no harm in indulging in sweet or salty snacks – in moderation.

So, take matters into your own hands by being proactive and staying on top of your health and wellbeing, including getting a good night’s sleep.  Remember to stay focused and keep your eyes on the real prize (whatever that may be for you).  Life is way too short to do otherwise.  Stay happy, stay healthy, and …. take matters into your own hands!


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