Night shifts as a Nurse: you’re tired and you realise the saying ‘nothing good happens after midnight’ isn’t a myth.
But everything is always worse when you haven’t prepared properly. So, here are some tips to make sure you’ve prepared your snacks, sleeping schedule, and sanity appropriately.
It’s an obvious one, but most Nurses who work night-shiftdon’t prepare their bodies for sleep correctly. If you have a couple of days before your night-shift roster begins, here are the best ways to gradually ease in to the sleep pattern that will save you.
Eat dinner later in the evening. This fuels your body, helping it stay up a little later than usual.
Try to sleep-in, or at least stay in bed, a little longer each day.
Get black-out curtains or a sleep mask, to trick your body into thinking it’s midnight instead of noon.
Have a pre-work power-nap. After a solid few hours of sleep, wake up and pull yourself out of your natural deep sleep cycle. But before getting ready for work have another 20-30 minute doze—this will refresh your eyes and body without making you feel groggy.
Food preparation is not just for the gym junkies of the world—it’s also for the people who don’t need, nor want, to stress over what they’re eating before entering a 10pm-7am shift.
In the days leading up to your dreaded night-shift decide on a meal that you enjoy, but isn’t full of carbs or sugars. There’s nothing worse than trying to work on an overly full stomach, so try to steer away from foods that are free from heavy ingredients, while focusing on vegetables and natural sugars.
Exercise not only helps you stay energized and focused, but it also tires your body in a natural way. Go to the gym or do a lap around the block to fuel your muscles, helping you drift more easily into sleep during the day. Before you begin your shift it’s a good practice to also stretch out your worked muscles reinvigorating them.
Your eyes are droopy and you need a boost, so you reach for the Red Bull can that’s eyeing you off at the vending machine.
Don’t fall into this trap.
High-caffeinated drinks are designed to give you a short and big burst of energy, so in the moment you feel energized. But then you crash. You’ll end up feeling worse than you did before. Plus the caffeine will remain in your brain for hours making it harder to fall asleep.
It’s over. You’ve made it. But before jumping behind the wheel, take a minute. As a nurse, you know that the leading cause for car accidents behind drunk driving is sleep-deprivated drivers. So take your time and drive safely.
Yes, we know we already said this. But it’s important. As soon as you make it try to go to bed straight away. Light is sleep’s enemy and you want a good sleep—because you’re probably going to do it all over again tomorrow.
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