Working shiftwork is part of every first responder's life. Whether you're working dayshift, nightshift or swing shift, you're more than likely putting your body through stress that most who work regular jobs will never experience or understand.
That said, it's critical to do everything within your power to help your body recover. Not doing so can lead to a host of health issues. Many of these issues I had no idea about until after I was no longer a Police Officer. Had I known just how much damage I was doing to my body by working shiftwork, I would have surely done a better job of taking care of it.
So below I'm going to share with you what I've recently learned about the importance of sleep and recovery. Now when most people think of recovery, they think of recovering from a strenuous physical event. But the reality it, working shiftwork is harder on your body than most workouts people do at the gym every day. Crazy, right? You wouldn't think it since your muscles aren't sore or fatigued and you're not in any pain or discomfort. However the physiological effect on you body is, in many cases, worse following an overnight shift than an hour of strenuous exercise.