Skip to main content
Menu

5 Tips for Successfully Conquering the Night Shift

tips-for-surviving-the-night-shift

Working the night shift as a nurse can be a difficult adjustment. You are constantly fighting against your circadian rhythm – and that’s a tough battle to win. If you find yourself struggling with your new schedule, try a few of these tips to better conquer the night shift.

1. Sleep 7-9 hours

Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Although we know it’s easier said than done, here are a few tips for hitting that number:

  • Don’t put off going to sleep 
  • Dedicate 7-9 hours to sleep after each shift
  • Eat and drink before bed to limit hunger pains/thirst 
  • Inform others of when you work to decrease disturbances
  • Wear earplugs or turn on a fan to block out noise

2. Use light to your advantage

Your circadian rhythm reacts to light exposure – natural and artificial. Medical News Today suggests using this to your advantage.

“During night shifts, people can try to “trick” their body into an alert state with exposure to bright light and promote sleep by suppressing light exposure after their shift.” -Medical News Today

Trick your body by using bright lights while working and by using blackout curtains while you’re trying to sleep.

3. Eat well

Eating well can help you be more focused during your shift and more relaxed after. Planning frequent light meals and snacks – like vegetables and fruits – can help you avoid drowsiness at work. And staying hydrated throughout your shift can enhance your physical and mental performance.

4. Nap when you can

Before your shift, a quick nap can help you feel more awake. Furthermore, if safe and possible, taking a nap while on your break can help you feel re-energized. However, to avoid the dreaded effects of sleep inertia, don’t nap longer than 45 minutes.

5. Drink caffeine throughout your shift

Drink more caffeine – but in smaller doses. In a study done by PubMed, consuming around a quarter cup of coffee throughout the night reduced fatigue and increased mental performance. Although, stop drinking caffeine around six hours before bedtime so you can fall asleep.

Adjusting to a night schedule will take some time, but these tips can help. Get enough sleep, eat well, be strategic with caffeine, and conquer the night shift.

Work with a company dedicated to your success. Apply today!

EthosMedStaff

EthosMedStaff

Recent Posts

Men in Nursing – Closing the Gender Gap

With the demand for nurses only continuing to grow, the opportunity for men to close the gender gap is better than ever. Jeff Stoner, founder and CEO…

Why the West Coast is Your Next Favorite Travel Assignment

As a travel nurse, adventure is always calling. Why not go to the West Coast? From beautiful beaches and wildlife to thriving cities and rich history, the…

5 Practices of a Successful Travel Nurse

Travel nursing can be quite the adjustment. Successfully adapting to a new state, hospital, and co-workers can be overwhelming. However, creating the right habits can help. Our…

View All

Interested in Ethos Medical Staffing?

Get started on your next travel nursing assignment by telling us a little about yourself.

Get Travel Nursing Jobs in Your Inbox

Get Travel Nursing Jobs in Your Inbox

Join our weekly mailing list to receive info on the hottest travel nursing jobs throughout the US.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap