6 Tips to Thrive and Survive the Night Shift
As nurses or doctors, the night shift is inevitable. Whether it is your first time working the overnight shift, it’s your regular shift, or you flip-flop between day and night, let’s be honest, working at night and being nocturnal is not easy. We have compiled this list of our 6 top tips to help you survive and thrive the night shift.
If it’s your first night shift naturally you are feeling like this:
Or you are a night shift pro and you are ready as ever:
Don’t worry whether you are a night shift newbie or a pro, these 6 tips and tricks will help you survive and thrive that 7 pm-7 am shift!
Sleep is the utmost important of our tips. Night shift disrupts your natural sleep patterns and our bodies react to sunlight. So to prepare for the overnight shift, get your best sleep during the day by closing the curtains, wear a sleeping mask, and unplug from all your electronics that will interrupt your sleep.
Drink some H2O before, during, and after work. Staying hydrated throughout your shift keeps you more alert and allows your body and mind to be at their best. The fact is – it is extremely hard to be high functioning for twelve hours when you are dehydrated.
- Meals and Snacks
So now you have made it into your night shift and your stomach starts rumbling. But with so much to do and so little time, it easy to eat quick snacks with zero nutritional value but hard to prepare nice meals and healthy snacks. To maintain your energy, alertness, and healthy body, here is a short list of excellent healthy snacks: string cheese, nuts, fruit (bananas, apples, oranges), a little dark chocolate, hummus and whatever you like to pair it with. For healthier food and snack ideas visit our Pinterest board here.
- Calculated Caffeine
It’s 2 am and you feel yourself losing energy and fast. Whether your caffeine fix is coffee or tea, it is all about when you are drinking the caffeine and how much. Caffeine does the job so you can maintain alertness and stay awake through the night but overdoing caffeine interferes with tip 1 (sleep), so enjoy the caffeine but know when to stop so you can sleep.
- Get Close with Your Co-Workers
Making it through the night shift is a lot easier and more fun with co-workers you have friendships and bonds with. Get to know the people on your floor. Having go-to co-workers when you are having a rough night or need help or a funny story always helps pass the time.
- Healthy Work and Life Balance
Nurses and doctors who work night shifts often feel like they are missing out on the rest of the world because they are awake while everyone else is sleeping. To help feel like you have a balance between work and life, it is important to keep your schedule but also make time for the people and things that matter to you. Plan your appointments, activities, date night, and Mommy or Daddy time with the kids. Night shift means planning and scheduling for daytime shifts – but remember it is all a balance.
Now over to you, we’d love to hear what makes working the night shift easier for you? Share them with us in the comments. To help make your night shift more fashionable and comfortable shop our scrubs.