If you’re working long hours at a call centre, especially night shifts, here are some of the best vitamins for call centre agents. Besides vitamins, we’ll also cover some tips for staying healthy on the job and during your time off-shift.
What vitamins should night shift workers take?
Working in a call centre, it’s easy not to get the proper amount of sleep and develop poor diets, thanks to the lack of options available to eat, especially at hours when it seems like the rest of the country is asleep.
Instead, try to eat a balanced diet and take vitamins for some things that are difficult to get naturally.
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Vitamin D isn’t found in most of the foods we eat, and while getting sunlight does give us some, this isn’t going to happen if you’re working night shifts and trying to sleep during the day. This vitamin is crucial because it plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium in the body.
A night-shift worker is associated with a higher risk of thinning bones because of inadequate amounts of Vitamin D. A 2008 study of nurses who worked night shifts for more than 20 years often had a higher incidence of hip and wrist fractures. The study suggested that these results may be the result of impeded calcium absorption due to a lack of Vitamin D stores.
Avoid vitamins A, C, and E
When taken in excess, these antioxidants can cause health problems too. Instead, get your Vitamin C from your food. A good source of vitamin C is strawberries.
Taken in moderation, Zinc is one of the only ingredients linked to shortening a cold.
How about Generic Brands?
As long as it came from a reputable pharmacy, generic vitamins are usually just fine. Well known brands like Clusivol, Centrum, Enervon, Revicon, Stresstabs are fine too.
What are the best vitamins for lack of sleep?
Call centre agents use melatonin for them to stay asleep longer, have more energy when they are awake, and fall asleep faster.
Your body produces melatonin naturally, and according to studies, it is generally safe to take daily if you are healthy and not pregnant. It’s best to consult a doctor before taking, as it doesn’t work for everybody.
Before taking, try to relax before bed, keeping the lights low and sleeping in a cool, dark, comfortable bedroom for optimal results. Stop taking if it doesn’t work for you.
Also, follow a regular sleep schedule regardless of which shift you are working. Try to set a plan so that you are in bed three hours after your shift ends (or whatever makes sense for you) regardless of the time your shift ends.
Read more on the difference between melatonin and sleeping pills here.
Staying Healthy While Working In A Call Centre
The BPO (business process outsourcing) Industry is undeniably thriving in the world of employment. When it comes to working in a call centre, your shift may vary to accommodate international clients on their time-zones, meaning many agents report to work in the dead of night to ensure 24/7 assistance. This notion is known by many as the ‘graveyard shift.’ While this kind of shift, or work in BPO in general, can bring in more clients and more productivity, it can also take a toll on your health as an agent.
Some tips to stay in good health while working in a Call centre
Drink enough water, cut back on coffee and alcohol
Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will instead bring back your strength and vigour after spending hours on the phone or your feet. Also, it has no calories and cost little or nothing compared to energy drinks and soda.
Water is also cheaper than late-night runs to the nearest Tims’. Caffeine keeps you alert. However, getting more than six cups may harm your health. Instead, start with a cup before you work and finish it a few hours before going home to help you get better sleep.
You should try and avoid caffeine and nicotine before at least four hours before sleeping.
After your shift, alcohol should be avoided if you are planning to get a good sleep in a few hours too.
Eat healthy meals (instead of Multivitamins)
Most employees working at night have a limited choice of where to get food. If you can’t bring your food, try and go for meals packed with nutrients to help you get through your shift. It’s one of the most basic health tips that may sound too simple, but it works. If eating snacks, opt for healthier options such as fruits or nuts.
- Have a well-balanced diet.
- Drink at least 4 to 4.5 litres (5-6 cups) of water per day.
- Eat more vegetables.
- Consume too much alcohol.
- Drink too much coffee.
- Eat junk food.
At work, try and take naps during breaks.
Spend your break by taking a five to 15-minute nap to relax your mind and body and regain your energy. However, when you are supposed to be awake, spend as much time as possible in brightly lit rooms.
Outside of Work, Get enough sleep.
At home, try and make your room dark as if it’s nighttime, so you can sleep long with ease.
Another suggestion is to sleep earlier. Your body heals and repairs itself while you’re sleeping, so you’ll be prepared for the next day.
- Use room-darkening or blackout shades in your bedroom. Dim the lights gradually by drawing the curtains.
- Sleep in a separate room away from daytime activities at home.
- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
- If you can, when doing rotating shifts, rotate clockwise (days, then evenings, then nights);
- Try to avoid rapid rotation (e.g., working different shifts in the same week);
- Wear sunglasses to block blue light when driving home in the morning
- Avoid eating large meals within four hours before sleeping;
- Seek exposure to bright light after waking.
- Don’t schedule appointments or activities during your regular sleeping hours. Remember, this is sleep and night time for you.
- Allow people to disturb you when you should be sleeping.
- Keep your mobile phone beside you.
Do meditation and “deskercise”
The work of a call centre agent involves extended periods of sitting and doing desk work. Try doing simple stretches and physical exercises in-between calls. Also, you can relax and clear your mind by meditating during your free time.
- Set aside time for working out.
- Choose a routine you like that will help you achieve physical and mental fitness.
- Make exercise a regular habit.
- Take the elevator (lift) all the time.
- Drive your car to work every day.
- Remain seated for the entire shift.
Adopt stress management techniques
- Meditate or pray – whatever helps you reduce stress.
- Laugh with family and friends.
- Read your favourite books.
- Listen to your favourite music. You might listen to your favourite playlist or ask for other agents’ song list to pique your interest and keep you alive as you do your tasks.
- Make commitments that are out of your limit.
- Overstress at work.
- Allow your professional life to take over your personal life.
Maintain a social life
- Spend quality time with family.
- Stay in touch and meet up with friends regularly.
- Continue practising your hobbies.
- Get stuck in a routine of all work and no play.
- Isolate yourself from your loved ones.
- Stay in the office beyond your shift.
Go in for regular health check-ups
- Have a regular doctor and clinic to visit.
- Have your eyesight checked regularly, along with other lab and physical tests.
- Take prescribed medication, vitamins, or supplements on time.
- Ignore symptoms.
- Put off scheduled doctor’s appointments.
- Forget to take any prescribed medicine/s.
Working night shifts has been linked to increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer in women, and prostate cancer in men, but there are ways to help reduce the risk of these. As a call centre agent, often your work will be at late hours, by taking some of the steps provided here, you can mitigate these.