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Overnight Work Causing Anxiety
ctc123 posted:
My name is Corry, i'm 20 years old and I started working a fulltime (40hrs a week) job, it happend to be an overnight position working 5 nights a week 11pm-7am. My first week was good, I got to know my co-workers and liked everyone a lot, but during my second week, and the other two weeks following I have been hit with Anxiety & Depression. I have never in my life had these feelings. I will look at the clock and see that I only have a few hours left before work and my heart instantly begins pounding and I will even sometime throw-up. I try to sleep as much as possible but it doesn't always work, leaving me exhausted for the next night of work. I also find it very hard to eat proper meals now that im working so much, I cannot get myself out of bed during the day to cook a healthy meal to take with me during my work hours at night. So i will usually just buy some juice or pop and a quick microwave meal. I'm not sure what to do about these feelings, it's starting to affect my everyday life, Please help
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Lots of research has indicated that nightshift work is both physically and mentally challenging and requires a bit of tuning of your lifestyle.

I know there are websites that are totally devoted to nightshift work and I would encourage you to look at some of these. You might find a few on my website's Sleep page. I haven't provided the link here, but you can just go to my website ( and then look at the Sleep page.

It's important that you do eat a proper diet because your body needs this as well as sufficient sleep and there are tips on how to get sleep in the off-hours when you are home. You will probably find that exercise (I know this sounds a bit odd) is also helpful, but not before you go to sleep. It doesn't have to be anything strenuous, but just some walking in place or up and down stairs.

Also, check with your doc just to be sure you are not deficient in anything. I'm not an MD, but I wouldn't think medication would be indicated because this is a work adjustment.

Hope it all works out well. It does take a few weeks to get adjusted.
Adamski responded:
So hard to maintain the balance working at night. I really struggled to sleep during daylight hours as it felts unnatural. It just wasnt for me mate. Id say get out of there. Swap while you can, some people arent made for it, no shame in that
Lefty2121 replied to Adamski's response:
I second that!! If you like the job try to move to an earlier shift if possible. I will you the best of luck.
longduckdong46 responded:
I suggest you grind it out. Your very young and your body will adjust to it.
I have worked the night shift for many years, and have adapted.
To me the key is going straight home, don't stop anywhere unless you have to, and avoid eating before going to bed. Straight to bed works best. Perhaps take a warm shower prior also.
Good luck.

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