Not for the Faint of Heart: 9 Tips for Surviving the Night Shift as a Nurse

Night shifts are an important part of the healthcare world. In a healthcare facility where people stay at night, activity levels are usually slower at night, however, nursing care is going to continue throughout the day and night. If someone is new to the nightshift, they may require a few tips to survive. Keep reading for some tips that will help with this.

1. Maintain the Same Sleep Schedule

This is one of the top tips that will be heard from nursing schools near me. While it may be necessary to interrupt a person’s sleep schedule for certain things, it is important to keep things as normal as possible.

2. Mimic the Night During the Day

It is best to make the bedroom as dark as a person can. This can be done with room-darkening curtains or shades. Wearing a sleep mask can also be beneficial, as the brain will perceive darkness and begin to produce melatonin.

3. Use Caution with Caffeine

Caffeine, which is found in energy drinks, tea, and coffee can provide a boost when someone is starting their shift. It may be tempting to continue drinking it but do not. It is best to stop drinking caffeine a minimum of four hours before the end of a person’s shift.

4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try to avoid any type of refined foods or sugar before or during a person’s shift. Instead, stick to vegetables, fruits, and nuts as snacks. Eating a few small meals every few hours will help ensure a person’s blood surge remains stable.

5. Consider the Lighting

To fool the brain, a source of light must present at night. Most facilities will dim the lights to help residents and patients sleep. Try to keep lights turned on in the break room and nursing station.

6. Stay Busy

The night shift is slower than the day shift, as mentioned above. However, those who are working the night shift should try to remain busy. This can be done by cleaning different work areas, wiping down chairs and seating areas, stocking supplies, and more.

7. Get to Know the Other Night Shift Workers

Time will go by faster when a person is engaged with others. Be sure to help one another out. Since there are fewer resources, it is best to support one another.

8. Create a Support Community

Working nights is stressful. When someone is on the opposite schedule from one another, it will take a while for them to realize that being home during the day does not mean the person is available. The person working the night shift requires sleep.

9. Go to the Doctor

If a person has issues getting to sleep, it is a good idea to go to the doctor for help. They can provide sleep aids and advice that will help ensure a person gets the quality sleep they need.

When it comes to getting sleep, there is no question that it is important. Being informed and knowing what to expect is the best way to ensure that the desired results are achieved and that a nurse who works the night shift is able to get plenty of sleep during the day.