Unlike some workers out there who come to work at 8am and lave at 5pm, we, nurses get to work on shifts including the night shift, which can be very challenging sometimes. Not only will you get deprived from sleep, but also, your body clock gets disrupted and you have to deal with several consequences such as feelings of tiredness and a cranky mood that come with it.
But of course, we cannot avoid being exposed to the night shift. We knew it the moment we entered nursing school, as well as the moment we made our pledge as new nurses. So, how does one survive this? What are some tips that could help one get through the night shift?
Get at least 8 hours sleep during the day
Yes, you couldn’t sleep at night since you have to work, but you shouldn’t deprive yourself of sleeping in the day. Get at least 8 hours of sleep. That way, you can allow your body to recharge and prepare for another night at the clinical area.
Working at night often reduced opportunities for physical activity and participation in organized sports. Nevertheless, don’t let it stop you from getting the exercise that you need. Regular exercise keeps your body flooded with positive hormones and makes you feel good about life. Also, it will help you go to sleep naturally and deeply.
Studies show that smokers tend to report high rates of insomnia since they have a hard time falling asleep and a hard time maintaining sleep. One study, for example, has found that cigarette smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to report feeling not rested after a night’s sleep.
Yes, being sleep deprived may sometimes affect our appetite. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting the nutrition that you need. Try to eat healthy, routine meals. Get some vegetables. And oh, you must watch snacking, especially when working at night.
Wear a good quality digital watch all the time
The body tends to relax naturally at night. Prevent missing a patient’s medication schedule by looking at your watch now and then.
Wear a sleeping mask
Most find it difficult to sleep in the day considering how bright the room is. If this is the case, you might want to consider covering your windows with dark-tinted curtains or even wearing a sleeping mask plus earplugs. These will all help create the “nighttime effect” and let you sleep in peace.
Refrain from drinking more than a cup or two of coffee in 24 hours.
Caffeine may help you get past the occasional feeling of lethargy and stimulate you, but in the long term, it is addictive and upsets your circadian rhythm. Furthermore, coffee is a diuretic and you don’t want to wake up to pass water during your sleep time, right?