Tips and Tricks for the Night Shift
It’s always difficult to get used to the night shift at the beginning but by adjusting your body clock and by following these few helpful tips it will become much easier to stay alert when it’s most important.
We have carried out some research that allows you to pick and choose what tips you feel helps you best and you can then adjust them according to yourself and your needs.
- You can begin by hydrating yourself the day before your first night shift. You can do this by drinking 8 glasses of water, this should then be continued each night you are working. Hydration is key! While on the night shift you can also combat dehydration by drinking fruit juices such as apple or orange juice, this will help lessen your chances of a headache or migraines.
- Regulate your internal clock! Stay up as late as you can the night before your first night shift and don’t be worried about getting up too early! This is the first step in scheduling your sleeping pattern to ensure your body clock is prepared for the days ahead.
- Choose healthy options instead of sugary snacks! It is essential that you feed your body with food that will provide you with energy instead of just snacking for the sake of snacking. Sugary/fatty foods often cause your body to become sleepy and tired. While on the night shift it is recommended to eat smaller portions of food, more frequently, for examples a granola bar or peanuts.
- Drink caffeine when needed. A cup of coffee takes just 20-30 minutes to kick into action and improve alertness, for most nurses this slump is between 2-3pm. Tea and coke will also do the trick so make sure you have these essential close to you when you need them most!
- Make friends with your co-workers. Nurses tend to have special connections with those who are on the night shift with them. It is always great to be able to call a colleague a friend as they often can power you on when the coffee doesn’t do the trick. Bonding with your co-workers will also help increase the likelihood that a shift runs smoothly.
It’s important to take care of yourself and your body!
Keep a close eye on our blogs for more helpful tips and tricks for nurses!