Surviving night shifts in Traffic Management - Your guide to self-care

Joanne Morgan
October 4, 2023

Hey there, fellow night owl! If you're reading this, chances are you're either a seasoned night shift warrior or you're about to dive headfirst into the world of Traffic Management in the UK, where the hustle never stops, even when the sun goes down. While night shifts can be tough, they don't have to take a toll on your health and well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore some practical tips on how to look after yourself while working those late-night hours in the world of traffic management.

  1. Sleep, sleep, sleep!

Let's start with the obvious one: sleep. Night shifts can seriously mess with your circadian rhythm, so it's crucial to prioritise your sleep. If you can, invest in blackout curtains to keep your room as dark as possible during daylight hours. Earplugs or a white noise machine can help block out daytime noise. And don't forget to communicate with your housemates or family about the importance of keeping things quiet while you catch those Z's.

  1. Eat well and stay hydrated

It's easy to fall into the trap of eating junk food or skipping meals during night shifts. But trust me, your body needs proper nutrition to keep you going. Try to eat balanced meals that include veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, especially towards the end of your shift. And stay hydrated - keep a water bottle handy to prevent dehydration.

  1. Embrace the power of naps

Napping can be a lifesaver during night shifts but you can’t just get your head down on shift in a work vehicle or when you are in charge of a site that needs regular checking! If you do have breaks, and there are other operatives to cover the job, consider taking a short power nap. Just 10-15 minutes can help boost your alertness and mood. 

  1. Get moving

Sitting in traffic management vehicles for long hours can take a toll on your body. Make an effort to move around whenever you can. Stretch your legs, do some quick exercises or, if you are able and it is safe to do so, get out of the vehicle and check the site. It'll help combat the sedentary nature of your job and keep your energy levels up.

  1. Invest in quality gear

Having the right equipment can make your night shifts a lot more manageable. Ensure your work gear is comfortable and fits properly. Good-quality metatarsal boots, warm clothing under your regulation Hi-Vis safety gear are essential. Consider investing in a comfortable seat cushion if you're spending long hours in a vehicle, or at least move the original seat so it best “fits” your own stature and size.

  1. Stay connected

Working night shifts can sometimes feel isolating, especially when everyone else is asleep. If you are on site with others, try to find common interests, chat about your work, the industry, your hobbies….Stay connected! It can help combat feelings of loneliness and keep you grounded.

  1. Plan your days off

When you're on night shifts, your days off become even more precious. Plan ahead to make the most of your downtime. Catch up on sleep, spend time with loved ones, and engage in hobbies or activities that relax and rejuvenate you.

  1. Know when to seek help

Finally, remember that working night shifts can take a toll on your mental health. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, depression, or sleep disturbances, don't hesitate to seek help from a healthcare professional and speak to your Traffic Management company. They can provide guidance and support tailored to your needs.

In the world of traffic management, night shifts are par for the course. But with some self-care, smart planning, and a positive mindset, you can thrive during these challenging hours. So, gear up, stay safe, and remember to take care of yourself - because you deserve it. Here's to brighter nights and smoother traffic management shifts ahead!

On Vocation Training’s Traffic Management course we take an in-depth look at the issues highlighted in today’s blog.

If you would like to register for Vocation Training’s Traffic Management course, please click here

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