If you’ve ever worked a night shift you know how challenging it can be to fit sleep into your schedule. When you get off work everyone else is starting their day, the sun has come up and it’s hard to wind down. As a night shift nurse, follow these tips to help you get to sleep faster and feel more rested when you wake up in the middle of the day.
Determine a set routine
Though it will be a non-traditional routine, it’s better than no routine. Working the night shift calls for careful scheduling of regular life activities. Getting enough sleep, while still being awake and alert for important life events can be challenging. One way to help keep the balance is by forming a routine. Working the same night shift hours means you should be always sleeping the same hours unless something unexpected comes up.
It’s easy to get into the “I’ll sleep when I can” habit, but that leads to confusing your body and in the end, getting a lot less sleep. Because most people work day shift, you shouldn’t be missing out too much on things during normal working hours. If something does come up during your normal sleep hours, take care to choose what is really important to you and try not to sacrifice your sleep!
A daytime sleep schedule presents many obstacles, one of them being sunshine! While sunshine is usually welcomed, it can be a pest when attempting to sleep during the day. Installing blackout curtains in your room gives you the ability to try and trick your body into thinking it is nighttime and fall asleep more easily. For more on the best types of blackout curtains, check out a review on the best curtains from wirecutter. Another tool to invest in for your sleep schedule? A natural light alarm clock! If you are waking up late in the day and it’s already begun to get dark, a clock that wakes you up with simulated sunlight lets your body think it’s the morning and time to get up.
Be careful with caffeine
Caffeine can tempt you during the long night shift, but beware! Caffeine is a great way to stay alert during your night shift, but drinking a caffeinated drink too late into your shift can disrupt your sleep plans for after your shift. Make it a point to keep your caffeine intake as low as possible and consider switching to water, apples or other healthy alternatives for additional energy boosts. Getting your body prepared for a nice, solid snooze session after your shift will ensure your health and mental clarity are in check
These tips are a great starting point to make the night shift a little easier to adjust to! Setting a routine and listening to what your body needs will lead to a lifestyle with more energy and productivity.
If you are looking for new career opportunities as a nurse, contact an experienced Alliance Healthcare Solutions recruiter to explore lucrative options today.