We put ourselves through many things in life, but if there is one thing that we are all guilty of doing it’s putting off sleep. Sleep is for the weak right? So, swapping to the night shift sounded like a good idea, except that now you are sleeping all day and working all night. It’s very hard on the body, and you want to do what you can to get through it. Learning to cope with the night shift is important, and once you get into the swing of it you have to learn how to shit back to day mode, too. With the right hearing protection, you can ensure that you get a peaceful day of sleep, but with the tips below you can cope with the rest of it. So, with this in mind, let’s talk about how you can get through the night shift as unscathed as possible!
What Can You Do?
- Look after your eating habits. You will find that your body doesn’t often agree with your eating times, but the worst thing that you can do is to eat carb-heavy foods before you have your shifts. Take healthy snacks, like veggies and sips, and stick to fruit over cake and sweets. You want to have the right amount of energy to last you, not just short bursts of it while you work.
- Try to get active. When you wake up from your sleep, get active! Go for a brisk walk or run, or even head to the gym. This will help you to wake up and get your energy flowing. You want to stay active and keep your body moving and warm. During the shift, get walking and moving as you can.
- Drink water. Coffee may wake up your day but water is going to keep you energized through the night. Avoid any caffeine before the final three hours of the shift so that you can fall asleep when you get home.
- When you get home, use hearing protection to help you to close out the day. You may be going to sleep but the world is waking around you, and you need to think about blocking it all out so you can sleep. You can do the same with the light, too, by adding blackout blinds to the windows.
- Sunlight stimulates the brain and the body, so a dark, cool space is a must. You want to feel comfortable when you go to sleep, and try to avoid any screen time before bed. You can cope better at night if you get a fulfilling sleep in the day time and that takes organization.
- Before you go to sleep after your shift, have a light bite to eat. You will be hungry when you wake up but you don’t want to sleep on a heavy stomach!
Do you have any experience, tips, or tricks for adjusting to differing or backwards works and sleep schedules? What have been your biggest challenges when adapting to a night shift? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!