I have never worked a night shift before. I would love some tips on orienting my body to working a night. Any suggestions to get myself ready before starting my new shift at night? I am a light sleeper.
I have worked nights on and off through my 20 years in nursing. First suggestion- try staying up later the few nights before like 1 or 2am if you can then sleep in until 11-1200. Second you must have room darkening shades and get a sleep mask from Amazon.com that lets you open your eyes while it’s on. Third you need to use a humidifier or something else for white noise and/or ear plugs. Last, remember it will take time to adjust and you will be grouchy/moody/anxious at times so be prepared. Caffeine helps as does taking a walk/break when sleepy but do not do too much caffeine after midnight/2am or you’ll be too wired to sleep! Hope this helps!
Thanks for the great tips! I will use everyone of them. I hadn’t thought of staying up at night before my night shifts even start.
You need to discover if you prefer to “get up” just before you have to work (which is what I do) OR go to bed as soon as you get home and be awake hours before your shift starts…I do all the other recommendations offered (although adding melatonin helps also). I stay up and eat lunch/a noon meal and “go to bed” between 1200 -1400(so you don’t wake up in the middle of your sleep starving!! 😉 ) then get up around 2100(I pack my food that will go into the cooler BEFORE I lay down to sleep) shower and hit the road at 2200 for my hour long drive to work…if your work allows “power naps” take advantage…otherwise you may need to pull over and catnap so you don’t fall asleep at the wheel getting home.(i read a study that wearing sunglasses on the drive home helps keep you in a state where falling asleep isn’t so hard..works for me)..Good luck…ps staying up while the sun shines also gets you some vitamin D(i live in Minnesota and really need it..lol)
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