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Life on a Graveyard Shift

Updated on March 24, 2013

"I was enticed to join a group of vampires before. It feels great at first but for some time, I get thirsty and needed blood to feed my awake body. Once you've became a vampire, you will always be one for its memories will forever stay in your mind..even if you get to be a normal person again."


We call ourselves the "vampires" - people who sleeps during the day and awake at night.

I've been a vampire myself for almost two years before turning again into a 'normal person'. While others were preparing to have a goodnight's sleep, I am also preparing for a long night’s work.


I was working in a BPO Industry, popularly known as Call Center as a Customer Service Associate before switching into a back-office account support, in also the same industry.

Our clients were mostly US-based so we have to follow their time. My graveyard shift was 10PM - 7Am everyday with rotating day-offs (depends on schedule), and sometimes I have to work seven days a week every night.

My first weeks were great; I am thrilled to have this first job after graduation. But after some time, I noticed my health was declining, I lose weight and I cannot concentrate.

Staying up all night and sleeping during the day is just a simple act against what is normal for our body.

The Circadian Rhythm is a 24 hour cycle that the human body goes through each day. Within this day and night cycle there is a 6 to 10 hour period in which we sleep. This sleep period includes both deep sleep, and REM sleep.
The Circadian Rhythm is a 24 hour cycle that the human body goes through each day. Within this day and night cycle there is a 6 to 10 hour period in which we sleep. This sleep period includes both deep sleep, and REM sleep.


After researching the effects of this work habit I have, I found out that there is a natural cycle in our body, which is sometimes called a "Circadian Rhythm", the internal clock that tells us when we should sleep and when we should wake up. I believed that our body is programmed to function at day and rest at night. So when we work at a night shift, we are forcing our body to operate counter to its “Circadian Rhythm”.

Due to this forcing to counter-operate, we developed this sleep disorder characterized by insomnia and excessive sleepiness which can lead to depression, anxiety, increased fatigue, not able to concentrate, mood swings and loss of appetite.

Graveyard Shift Health Risks:

These are some of the effects of my graveyard shift to my health which I personally experienced during the 2-year term of my vampirism:


  • Mental and Physical health

The “Circadian Rhythm”, when altered, can adversely affect our mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep makes our immune system vulnerable to attack and less to fight infections. I was experiencing increased fatigue and slight depressions due to this time schedule. Around my first year as a vampire, I lose my concentration at work and on other things around me. I lose my temper easily to things that I don’t want and that’s makes me irritable.

  • Prone to sickness

I often experienced dizziness and nausea when waking up after 8PM after sleeping between 10AM-1PM. I always have slight fevers or colds with chills for quite some time; I think that's because of the environment at work. I'm not used to being exposed on cold temperatures.

  • Loss of Appetite / Eating & Sleeping Disorders

This is caused when people neglect to have a healthy diet. The three-square meals a day with healthy servings of fruits and vegetables were replaced by fast-food chains, 24x7 convenience store. Cup noodles, coffee and energy drinks full of sugars are on the main line. I used to eat what is offered on these chain stores. After work, I already lose my appetite for breakfast and will just lie down on bed and sleep. The sleep will continue until I woke up, which is 8PM at night. So I skipped the lunch and will skip dinner again to avoid being late. It always feels like when I woke up that I haven’t even slept at all. So imagine doing this for the rest of the week. (By the way, there's no one to make breakfast or dinner. I'm living on a boarding house, alone, and so far away from home and I’m kinda free, I can do what I want even sleep the whole day.) I cannot even enjoy my day-offs, I have developed this excessive sleeping habit, I'm using all my free days sleeping!

However, we cannot deny the fact that we need people who will work during night time. Hospitals, fire departments, police stations, BPO industry and production facilities just to name the few are in need of a graveyard shifts schedule.

So after my first anniversary being a vampire, and out of the need to continue the life I started, I made some minor adjustments on my habits:

  • I rest when I'm not in work. This one I think I did regret a little, I cannot enjoy simple things like shopping and beaches and travel. I just wanted to lie down and sleep.

  • Resisting the temptation to drink coffee or energy drink or other beverages that contains caffeine.

  • Putting darker shades and curtains in my room and earplugs to my ears if I find it difficult to sleep with all the light and noise.

  • Bringing nutritious snacks or healthy meals to work, like fresh fruits and vegetables. I drink water in place of caffeinated drinks (this one, I just kinda do this once in a while when I'm in a mood).

  • Taking every opportunity to exercise. I just walk from work to my boarding house. (well, for this one, at least twice a week only)

I did quit the 'dark' life I had after I suffered from extreme fevers and chilling. I cannot get out of my bed, even with all the heat coming from outside because of my no-window room, I was chilling terribly, as if I was in a very, very cold room. And to feel to the worst pain, I was all alone in that room trying to get better. I was very far away from home.

Maybe I'm just having a hard time adjusting to this work schedule, my body just too weak to counter strike the “Circadian Rhythm”.

Now my health's regaining again and I'm happy with the new job I had. And this time, you can say I was back on being a 'normal' person again. A vampire's life again, is always a no no. :-)


© 2012 Mycee. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

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    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      IAmForbidden 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hi CL, very correct..it's very tiring.all you can do is sleep on your free time :)

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 

      6 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      I am a nurse and almost all new nurses have to work the night shift for awhile - it was miserable. My family always wanted to spend time with me when I was home but all I could do was sleep.......

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      IAmForbidden 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Yeah, I know right! Very hard.

    • profile image

      aGENT 

      6 years ago

      I've been a call center agent before and what you said is really true.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      IAmForbidden 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Thanks DS.. Yeah me too! it felt so terrrible being awake at night and sleeps during the day. I feel im not sleeping at all!

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 

      6 years ago from United States, Illinois

      I always hated night shift jobs but had to work a few of them in my time. I never could get used to it and I always looked and felt horrible. Very well written and informative hub, voted up, useful and awesome.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      IAmForbidden 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      yes, so not enough sleeping on daytime :( i always got sick. thanks much rosalinem :) very apreciated your comments

    • Rosalinem profile image

      Rosalinem 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Very informative and I did not also enjoy working at night some time back, its like someone took a sleeping pill and the sleep is never enough. Voted up and interesting.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      IAmForbidden 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      You are absolutely correct. Not just being exposed to night works but also being exposed to a certain product that has the bad effect on our body as well as on our health.

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 

      6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hello, again, you're welcome. That's an idea, after all it has a lot to do with how much time you are exposed to a certain thing, in this case working nights, but it's basically the same as being exposed to a certain product, etc. In cases of products that endanger a workers life there are limits, so...

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      IAmForbidden 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      wow, thank you so much algarview.. maybe some departments would have a lot of manpower so as to avoid being exposed to nightshift. they could have rotating shifts that can benefit everyone. thank you for reading, really, i appreciate this.

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 

      6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, very interesting subject and nice advices for those that really have to work nights. Somebody has to do it, I guess, but it is not natural and it's not healthy. Really think that night jobs should be kept to a minimum and to the essentials, fire department, police, hospitals, etc. The other stuff can wait, for the sake of a lot of people's health. People should be more aware of these problems. Well done! Thanks for SHARING! Have a great day!

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      IAmForbidden 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      thanks!

    • profile image

      guest 

      6 years ago

      nice one :)

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