Depending on your career, shift work might be an inevitable reality, meaning at some point you’ll have to work the night shift. While it’s the same length as other shifts, it can feel longer because of the unnatural time you’re awake and working. To make it through your shift successfully, consider these four ways to survive the night shift.
Develop good sleep habits
This is especially important if you’ll be working a lot of night shifts; however, it’s still wise to consider these suggestions even if you’re scheduled sporadically. First, you should prepare for sleeping after your shift prior to working. Consider purchasing a sleep mask, a white noise machine, and blackout curtains. Most of the world will be functioning when it’s time for you to sleep and these items can keep the noise and distractions out. When trying to fall asleep, don’t spend too much time on your phone, computer or watching television.
Before you shift, it’s important to stay up as late as possible the night before. This way you can sleep later into the day, allowing you to be more well-rested for your shift.
The brain is 70 percent water, meaning to keep your cognitive functions running smoothly, hydration is a must. Drinking water will keep you refreshed and alert. Use a refillable water bottle and track how much you’re drinking to ensure you’re properly hydrated for your entire shift.
Focus on relaxation
If your overnight job is filled with stress, finding activities to help you relax when you’re not working will keep you more focused on the job and calm while you’re away. The more relaxed you are, the better you’ll be able to sleep.
Monitor your caffeine intake
Sometimes you need an extra boost for your shift, but too much can affect your need for sleep after. Make sure you’re monitoring how many cups of coffee or soda you’re consuming and avoid caffeine toward the end of your shift.
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