Working as a nurse involves a variety of shift patterns, which can often include working nights. We’ve put together a list of top tips to help you prepare for working through the night.
Changing your sleeping pattern at first could prove difficult, especially trying to sleep before the first night shift. Doing some physical activity could help set you up for a good pre-night shift sleep.
Finding a quiet sleeping area is also vital to ensure you are not disturbed during your sleep. By creating a comfortable sleeping space, which should be dark, quiet and cool, it will be easier for you to relax and rest.
Your first time working the night shift could be difficult to adjust to your body clock, so remember to allow time to get used to the new routine.
During the night shift
Food & drink – Ensure you drink plenty of water and eat regularly. The most important thing is to keep dehydrated and well fed to ensure your energy levels are kept up. Lighter snacks are more effective than large meals, as a change in your sleeping pattern can make your digestive system more sensitive.
Stay active – During downtime try to walk around or stretch. Keep your body moving to ensure your mind stays active throughout the night.
Watch your caffeine intake – Drinking coffee at the beginning of the shift will be far more beneficial than towards the end, as it could reduce your chances of sleeping when you get home.
After the night shift
Consider how you will get home – It’s a good idea to have alternative options than driving home, in case you suddenly realise you are too tired to drive after your shift.
Wind down during the day – Don’t commit to doing things during the day. By communicating with your family, friends or even housemates, you can ensure you won’t be disturbed during the day. Just as others that work during the day wouldn’t expect to be disturbed during the night.
Working your first night shift will take getting used to, but once you develop a routine that works for you, it can be a shift full of learning experience and fantastic opportunities. Take a look at our current vacancies here.
Do you have a pre-night shift routine? Share your ideas with us.