Yoga For People Working In Night Shift

by Bala
(Bangalore, India )

I work in night shift. I reach home around 4.15 AM. I got to get up at 7:30 AM to drop kids to school I get freed at 9 AM. Then I need to be ready to receive kids at 12:20 PM. I get freed at 2 PM. To get ready to be picked to work again at 4 PM. It's completely broken by few hours each. I am finding difficulty in managing everything. I was regular in Yoga about 2 yrs back. Could you please advice me right time for yoga, sleep and food? Thank you .


Yoga is not only about yoga asanas and pranayama. Your body needs at least six to eight hours of sleep to ensure proper rest and relaxation. Therefore yoga practice will not be relaxing and enjoyable if there is sleep deficit. Your current routine does not permit you to continue your sleep at a stretch.

You must be finding difficult in managing things mostly due to sleep deprivation. It can lead to insomnia, irritability, lack of concentration, depression and depletion of energy levels.

You may need to change your current life style and sleep hours. If you are not in a position to change your working and resting hours, it is not possible to get un interrupted sleep. Optimise your free time for maximum relaxation. Do not tax your digestive system, eat easily digestible sattvik food. Your main focus should be to avoid any kind of stress on your mind and body. Accept the situation and work continuously to improve it.

Suggested Routine

After coming back from work take a quick shower. For 5 minutes do rhythmic breathing and then do yoga nidra or meditation for 5-10 minutes. If you feel hungry, drink a glass of warm milk, a toast or a fruit before sleeping.

Afterwards, take adequate amount of sleep. Ensure there are no disturbances.

When you wake up do yoga. After yoga, take 30 minutes rest at least and then eat your meals.

Eat some healthy snacks/ fruits before going to work and have dinner around 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

On your day off, sleep early at around 10 PM and get up at 6:00 AM to do yoga for one or two hours.


Find More Time. If possible, take help of somebody to take care of dropping the kids to school and you can then sleep for seven to eight hours after coming back from work. Thereafter do yoga for an hour or so and after resting eat your meals. You must do yoga only once you are rested and relaxed.

Be greedy for sleep. Give top most priority to get adequate sleep by limiting other activities if possible. Or delegate some activities to others if possible.

Do regular exercise, even if you can do it only for 30 minutes daily.

Change to a more healthy lifestyle.

Eat healthy, nutritious and easily digestible food. Avoid soft drinks and all other types of junk food. Avoid too much of tea/ coffee as it may make it difficult to sleep after your work is over.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the night to avoid headache and fatigue.

Experiment and find your own path. You can have a look at this brochure for night shift workers.

Comments for Yoga For People Working In Night Shift

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Jun 22, 2016
Perfect time
by: Anonymous

I am working in night shift. I leave from my home at 6 o clk evening and return back at 4:30 am. Then after taking bath, go to yoga class for 1 and half hour. After yoga class I take some light breakfast with milk. Then I go to bed for 8 hour. So is my schedual perfect for healthy life or not. Please reply me.

Editors Note
Your schedule is good. Best part is you are taking 8 hours sleep. Wishing you good health.

Warm regards

Jun 10, 2015
by: TinTin

I would like to say many thanks for this site. I learned a lot from this as this will provide everything I need to know.

I just want to ask if it affects my health negatively. After my night shift work 4:00 A.M I do Yoga and jogging. I don't feel any tiredness. I feel energetic, relaxed and I can sleep well after . I did this for almost 2 weeks.
Is there any negative effects for this in the future?

Thank you. I appreciate your answers.
God Bless

Editors Note
You can carry on with your routine. Take adequate sleep and rest during the day. First do jogging and then do yoga.

All the best.

Jan 08, 2015
Schedule mentioned is exactly be same for me also
by: Anonymous

Thanks for sharing yoga practice, Can you please comment what kind of yoga should we practise, can you name a few for intermediate to advanced level.

Basically I would like to start but from which asana, need insight on this.

Editors Note

It is recommended that you learn yoga from a yoga teacher. Read more on how to start yoga.

Hope this helps

Oct 23, 2014
Thank You
by: Anonymous

This is the very first article that I have come across that gives realistic tips for yoginis that work an overnight schedule.

I will take your advice and meditate before bed and do yoga after I wake up (and other exercise as well) Thank you!

Editors Note
Thanks for your kind words. You are welcome to share your experience after implementing these changes.


Feb 05, 2012
Do Breathing and Meditation Alone If Time is Less
by: Lauphin Bodhi Satva

When working in night shifts, I have had to miss yoga practice but have done breathing and meditation alone.

That part of the advice is correct. It is to calm you, as you already know. A good sleep schedule is part of the 8 limbs of yoga. But the 8 limbs were written when no one had to work nights. One can still do yoga, but cannot do a long session as they would during the day.

Lauphin Bodhi Satva

Feb 05, 2012
So True
by: Sara

People think they don't have time to exercise or have the energy. But if they would just start getting active they would find themselves having more energy. Really, you don't have time to not get healthy! :)

Editors Note
Thanks Sara for your advice. We need to be determined to do regular exercise.


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