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National Night Shift Workers Day – May 10, 2023

National Night Shift Workers’ Day takes place on the second Wednesday in May. This year, it takes place on May 10. Initiated by Jeff Corbett, it is a day to appreciate the efforts of those working the night or third shift to make sure the production or service does not stop running. Those who do not work in shifts can use the day to understand the difficulties faced by those working the third shift. Lack of sleep and loss of time with family are issues that need to be addressed and understood.

History of National Night Shift Workers Day

Modern society is a non-stop running machine that works 24 hours a day. There are essential services that cannot be stopped, no matter the time, weather, or other circumstances. The third shift is an essential component of the work that keeps the world running through the night. The concept of working through the night is not new to those who work in essential services. There are records of those who worked through the nights, dating back to ancient times. A few prominent examples are soldiers on guard duty, health care workers, and emergency response teams, among other things.

The term became popular with the advent of the industrial revolution and the implementation of shift-based jobs. Around the 1800s, the electric bulb became popular, and the modernization of technology increased the startup time in the textile and metal industries. As a result of these advancements, maintaining a full-time production became an absolute necessity, giving rise to the concept of modern night duty. These shifts usually pay more compared to other shifts throughout the day, but it is not without its demerits.

Working the third shift has its difficulties and comes with making sacrifices, especially involving their health and time spent with loved ones. People are hardwired to sleep at night, and third-shift work goes against that instinct. People can also miss precious time with family and friends who had only finished their daily activities at night. To recognize the importance of and appreciate the sacrifices made by night shift workers, we are celebrating National Night Shift Workers’ Day.

National Night Shift Workers Day timeline

1760 — 1840
The Age of the Industrial Revolution

Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States witness a tremendous increase in production due to the Industrial Revolution.

1879
The Invention of the Light Bulb

The invention of the light bulb makes it easy to work at night.

May 4, 1866
Riots in Haymarket Square

Workers riot in Haymarket Square, Chicago, to fight for the right to limited eight-hour workdays.

1970s
12-Hour Nursing Shifts

12-hour shifts rise in popularity among nurses, as this schedule allows for the assignment of fewer shifts per nurse.

National Night Shift Workers Day FAQs

Does working the night shift shorten one’s lifespan?

Researchers found that women working on rotating night shifts for over five years are 11% more likely to shorten their lifespans.

How long does it take to adjust to working night shifts?

It takes approximately 10 days for the body to adjust to night shift work.

Is sleeping at night better than a day?

The timing of sleep matters and it is best to sleep during the night to align your sleep pattern with your circadian rhythm.

How to Observe National Night Shift Workers Day

  1. Gift a card

    Send a card to a night worker. Let them know how much you respect and appreciate their efforts!

  2. Drop off a night worker at home

    Do you have a friend who works at night and has to walk home after work? Give them a ride home and wish them a good day's sleep.

  3. Surprise a night worker with a spa session

    Sleep schedules for night shift workers may result in stress or other harmful health effects. Gift a spa day to a night worker to refresh their day.

5 Facts About Working The Night Shift That You Should Know

  1. Night shifts are becoming popular

    The number of workers willing to work the night shift dramatically increased between 1991 and 1997.

  2. The Working Time Regulation Act

    The Working Time Regulation Act provides special privileges for people working the night shift in the United Kingdom.

  3. Higher pay?

    Working night shifts may not automatically guarantee higher pay — in the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (F.L.S.A.) does not require extra pay for night work.

  4. The prevalence of night shifts

    2.1% of technical, sales, and administrative support workers are on night shifts.

  5. The side effects of working night shifts

    According to various studies, night shift work can lead to irritability, increased chances of depression, and mood swings.

Why National Night Shift Workers Day is Important

  1. A day to appreciate night shift workers

    We love to appreciate underappreciated people and events. Night shift workers sacrifice a little bit more and their work needs to be appreciated.

  2. Understand the plight of night work

    Those who have not worked night shifts usually do not understand the problems of the night shift. This day can raise awareness about it among the general public.

  3. It strengthens bonds

    Today is a day to strengthen your bonds with your family and friends who work overnight. Show them how much you appreciate their efforts and care about their well-being.

National Night Shift Workers Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 11Wednesday
2023May 10Wednesday
2024May 8Wednesday
2025May 14Wednesday
2026May 13Wednesday

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