New to the night shift? No problem!
If you’re a nurse that’s about to start working nights, we understand if you’re a little nervous. That’s why we created a list of tips to help you adjust to your new work schedule.
Read on for our list of 5 tips to help you have a successful night shift.
Get Quality Sleep
Being well-rested is the most important part of working the night shift.
Ensuring your transition goes smoothly will require some preparation. Eat meals at the same time every day, limit your use of electronics before bed, and invest in blackout curtains to darken your room during the daytime. Remaining open-minded about your new schedule will help you develop a routine that works.
Once you’ve figured out which sleeping schedule works best for you, stick to it. Sleeping at irregular intervals will lead you to poor health, stress, and on-the-job-mistakes.
Due to the nature of the job, it can be difficult for nurses to stay hydrated. But drinking water is essential for maintaining your physical and mental health.
Bring a refillable water bottle with you and drink steadily throughout your shift — once you’re thirsty, a headache may be on the way.
Physical exertion causes the body to release endorphins, which acts as a natural energy boost. Staying fit and active will give you the energy you need to make it through a stressful night shift.
Studies show that just 10 minutes of light exercise will significantly increase your alertness. If you don’t have time to work out before your shift, there are even ways to fit exercise into your work schedule. Lunges, wall-sits, and jogging up and down the stairs are great ways to stay active while you’re on the job.
Eating Healthy Snacks During Your Shift
Snacking is a great way to stay energized over the course of a long night. However, it’s important to eat the right snacks.
Almonds and cashews are high in healthy fats and protein. Avocados are superfoods, which means they’re nutrient-dense and contain relatively few calories. Fruits and vegetables are low-calorie options with natural sugars and fiber.
Try to avoid snacks high in sodium and added sugar — they may give you a quick boost, but you’ll end up crashing hard.
Make Time for Friends & Family
Most of the world works during the daytime, which makes socializing difficult for registered nurses who work nights. However, it’s important to spend time with friends and family.
Your social life greatly impacts your emotional well-being, which is closely tied to your physical and mental health. Avoid feeling isolated or lonely by making time for social interaction.
Maintaining your emotional well-being will help you provide better care for your patients and help you have a longer, happier nursing career.
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