This is obviously work place-dependent as you need a shower and towels but having a cold shower can really work to boost your energy levels if the facilities are available. Raw veggie sticks and hummus like celery, bell peppers, carrots and snow peas if you need some crunch, Fruit and nut (avoid the roasted type of nuts), Celery and peanut butter (bring a small container so you don’t eat the entire jar! Is the noise in your house too loud? Applying some of the above strategies may help you on your way to coping better with working at night and ensuring that you get the right amount of sleep to function properly. The post is titled, “Bored on Night Shift? The loo will be a necessity within no time at all! I agree with everything I've read about creating a dark, cool, and quiet environment for sleeping, and prioritizing sleep. In the tea room. Using some of the other tips in this article can help you to be more productive when you’re on the clock. Caffeine can stay in our system for up to 12 hours and hence why we recommend switching to a decaffeinated drink instead if you have about 6 hours of your shift to go. For some, this could be a safety issue and not recommended if your car is parked off the work premises. Keep your drink bottle in a place you can always see it as a good reminder to drink up! It affects not only our mood and productivity around work, but also impacts how we communicate and function out of a work uniform. Let me know in the comments below. Drink coffee before you sleep. I try to have a consistent bedtime and pre-sleep routine, no matter what shift I'm working. Be careful about how long you nap for in order to ensure that you do not wake up during deep sleep. If this is you, I want you to really think about your situation and what’s getting in your way of you obtaining 7-9 hours of sleep. Related Post: Should Your Nap on Night Shift? When typical daily rhythm is thrown off balance, so too is metabolism. by Ian Samuels. Despite being sleep deprived and feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus, you have to make food choices that won’t further aid the slump. When used carefully, your daily dose of coffee can help you to remain alert throughout a shift. These types of foods require “all hands on deck” in regards to the digestive system which is simply not available overnight. How to Survive the Night Shift. Drink plenty of water, if you want to be alert during night shift job. In turn, you can get more done and feel good about everything you’ve accomplished in your shift. Shift work and long working hours have been linked to a number of health issues, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The bottom line here is to embrace every moment you’ve got for a quick nap. Remember that even when you are well caffeinated and feel fine, lack of sleep increases risk of making mistakes. We are now ready for the sleep hormones to start doing their thing! Is Surviving Night Shift with a Morning Beer a Good Idea? Required fields are marked *. Night shifts are typically quieter and slower than daytime shifts when it comes to workload. At night, the circadian pacemaker releases the sleep hormone melatonin from the pineal gland, which causes you to feel less alert and raises your desire to sleep. The trick to staying hydrated, keeping your kidneys happy, preventing lethargy and headaches on the night shift is to drink water before you feel thirsty. Are you getting enough sleep as a nurse? Can you pop outside for a few minutes if it’s safe and well lit? While I am a big advocate for drinking caffeine, particularly tea, I don’t recommend it if you have under 6 hours to go until you intend on sleeping. If going to work at night is inevitable in your line of work – whether you work as a nurse, a fire fighter, or in a clinic, it doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. Below is a video of Sam Wood, my favorite personal trainer showing you a few exercises you could easily do in the office when your feeling tired. Nap. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. Eating a variety of fruits is important, but some fruits are better than others for people with diabetes. These are the glasses we mean here (which we wear every night). Â. Night shift work may also interfere with the body’s ability to repair DNA damage that occurs from normal cellular processes. This is the only drink we can consume at unlimited amounts, which doesn’t come with a warning label. I get up really early the day of the night shift, so I got up at 5:00 a.m. on the day. Working at night involves successfully managing your sleep during the day — that is, to keep sleep debt to a minimum — and your fatigue during the night. It’s amazing what 5-10 minutes can do. Use the sun to judge when you should eat your larger meals. The “lows” post drinking these liquids can be tough to get through when you’re already exhausted so we recommend trying a different poison – like water! Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep to function at their best. During night shifts, you can try to “trick” your body into an alert state with exposure to bright light, and promote sleep by suppressing light exposure after your shift. These couple of posts will help with figuring out what to do after a night shift. While a short nap before you start your shift can help to combat fatigue, a nap during your break may be vital for maintaining alertness and remaining vigilant. In my experience when working night shift, the easiest way to stay alert and fight those tired feelings is to drink ice cold water and a lot of it… all night. Every person is different, so finding the right combination of techniques that suit you best may take time. How to Survive the Night Shift. This can lead to feelings of bloating, nausea and stomach pain, but also lethargy and tiredness. Shift work can be demanding when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, especially for those who work night, early morning, or rotating shifts. Take a 30 minute nap before your shift begins and, if possible, try to get in a few 10-20 minute naps throughout the night. Our digestive system takes a different, slower role overnight (but this varies depending on the cycle of sleep you’re in). The benefits of consuming bone broth include better joint protection, reduced inflammation, and…. Read more about us and our story here. In the emergency room, many of your patients are likely to be asleep or trying to get some quiet rest while you’re working on a night shift. Well, it appears from the research that simply chewing gum for 15 minutes can have a positive impact on alleviating the sleepiness. Eat small portions throughout the shift. Shift Work and Family. A Practical Guide For Busy Parents. That night, I invariably face-plant in bed by 9 p.m. (after taking a melatonin supplement). For example, melatonin is released as it gets dark in the evening to make you feel drowsy, while melatonin is suppressed and cortisol elevated by the morning light to make you feel more awake. Have you thought about blackout blinds to create your own “cave”? Due to less water traveling around the body, there is also less oxygen flow to the brain and heart, causing them to work harder for the same outcome. By phase-forward scheduling, you let your body slowly adjust from the day shift, to swing shift, then finally to the night shift. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep within a 24-hour period and impress upon family and friends the importance of your uninterrupted sleep. The drink bottle we recommend here on our shift work tools page does a great job to infuse these fruits while avoiding the pulp and pips. How to Best Prepare for Night Shift the Day Before. Furthermore, another study found that intermittent exposure to bright light is almost as effective as continual exposure. Managing a 12-hour shift schedule is firstly about prioritizing your own health, particularly around sleep, healthy eating and exercise. How to Stay Busy Without the Internet”, Can’t Sleep After Night Shift? Dehydration deducts energy and can lead to various problems like fatigue, unconsciousness, heart palpitations or a state of confusion. After this time we can start to hallucinate (normally seen after 24 hours of being sleep deprived) and totally lose touch with reality (source). What is more, almost 19 percent of adult workers work for 48 hours or more every week, and more than 7 percent work for 60 hours or more each week. Focus on the most important tasks first while you still have the stamina. Try your best to get back on a nighttime sleeping schedule with blackout curtains, earplugs, and by turning off your phone. Hey there! Repaying some of the sleep debt that you accumulate as quickly as possible will help you to recover sooner. If I have a stretch of 3-4 nights in a row, I treat that very differently than if I have one random night shift. Personally, chewing gum also makes me hungry, so get the snacks ready! These longer naps have been proven to give you an even bigger energy boost, but most night shift workers cannot function without mistakes when waiting for this “grogginess” to settle. Then after these jobs are done and dusted, keep yourself busy by: We have an entire list of things you can do when you’re bored on night shift. Individuals need to work through the night for numerous reasons. Many people have dark circles under their eyes. Be prepared and take food to work to ensure that you eat properly and stay alert. However, research suggests taking a different approach to maximize the effects of caffeine for shift workers. Our sole aim is to help shift workers and those on unusual schedules find balance between work and life. How to Stay Busy Without the Internet” and it’s definitely worth checking out for more unique ideas. A nap taken midway through the day has been shown to boost and restore brainpower. Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. If you’ve ever been tempted to complain about the physical and mental grind of your 9-to-5, then you might want to spare a thought for those hardy souls who earn their living nocturnally. The catch though is working out why you are not getting enough sleep. Instead, we recommend eating smaller, filling snacks throughout the night rather than one big meal. I understand the challenges of fitting in exercise, maintaining relationships and getting enough quality sleep, but I'm excited to show you that it’s possible to do shift work and still thrive. Somewhere between 7-11pm is recommended. High quality linen sheets can be a good investment for improving the quality of sleep. Caffeine use should be stopped around 6 hours before bedtime to ensure that the stimulant does not affect your sleep. Why? Did you know being awake for 17-19 hours straight is the same as having 0.05 alcohol in your system? It’s time to force yourself to eat even a small meal which is naturally full of melatonin, the sleep hormone we spoke about earlier to prevent waking up hungry. Bringing the leftover pizza from home or ordering a fresh one via take-out is a sure way to make this happen. would after a day shift) Try not to panic if you can’t sleep – follow the strategies in the table above. The hardest time during the night shift to be productive is between 3 and 5 a.m., a period colloquially known among night-shifters as “the 3 o'clock hump.” "There are a … Chewing gum also showed a higher rate of productivity and fewer mistakes when working. In a lot of shift working jobs, decisions need to be made quickly which often have a significant impact. Night shift workers are confusing this fine-tuned routine, so we need to keep the lights on to trick the melatonin into thinking it’s day time. We don’t want these hormones to kick in just yet because we are working and need to be productive. Most people take a huge dose of coffee at the start of their shift in order to jump-start their day. “Try to avoid working a few days on the night shift then a few days on the day shift,” Dailey says. My other tip is if you forget to drink during the night and remember once you get home, drink a glass or two before hopping into bed, but don’t go overboard. As a general rule, women should be consuming approximately 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of total water and men approximately 125 ounces daily (3.7 liters). The SCN generates circadian rhythms, which regulate behavioral and physiological processes in the body, including alertness, sleep, temperature control, and hormone production. Good to know…Don’t get too comfortable sitting in one place. (source). I know this sounds crazy but it works. Even when you’re operating on a good night’s sleep, your drowsiest time of the day tends to be six to eight hours after waking. If you are new to night shift working, ask colleagues for their tips on coping but remember to follow the tips above. Ways that you can control your exposure to light include: Keeping your bedroom dark will help to keep your body in sleep mode until it is time for you to wake up and begin your day. I know that’s not very helpful, especially if you have trouble sleeping during the day. I know these drinks are a super popular choice for night shift workers, but recent research from The American Heart Association concluded that, “drinking 32 ounces of an energy drink in a short timespan may increase blood pressure and the risk of electrical disturbances in the heart.” (source). But we hope the suggestions given throughout the post can boost your energy levels in the tough times and keep you productive and focused, until you get a chance to hop back into bed after work! If you don’t have time for a longer nap over 30 minutes, that’s actually good because these extended naps can leave you feeling groggy or suffering from “sleep inertia” for a short period after waking. No matter how many hours you’re logging per week, you’ll feel better about a long shift if you know you’re getting things done. To make this nap a reality, there are a few approaches that could work. Hypoallergenic pillows are sleeping pillows that may reduce or prevent allergic reactions to certain triggers, such as dust mites. However, improper use can cause gastrointestinal upsets and muscle shakes. Becker says that usually only the nurses and patients are present during the night shift, which allows nurses to administer excellent patient care on a more intimate level. Even naps of 20 to 45 minutes in length have proven beneficial for shift workers to counteract fatigue. I'm Emma Smith a passionate, Registered Nurse from Australia. 10 high-paying jobs that will survive … Your email address will not be published. It’s called a coffee nap and we go into just what it is here. But if there is an opportunity to sneak away somewhere on your break and have a nap then I recommended you embrace it. This approach sounds awful I know, but this hack to staying awake on night shift can work a treat. Due to our modern 24-hour society, nearly 15 million people in the United States work full-time night shifts, evening shifts, rotational shifts, or other such irregular schedules. Check out our video review here. This is because the human body is designed to sleep at night-time. If you sleep for under that amount, you will incur “sleep debt.” The only way to pay back sleep debt is to catch up on sleep you have missed, and this has to occur as soon as possible after it is incurred. Fresh and frozen fruits are better than…. These quick naps reduce sleepiness and improve focus and performance which is exactly what you need. Maybe it’s time you consider wearing blue light blocking glasses in the 90 minutes before bed? Here are 8 which we consistently use and rely on. Once my final night shift of the week is done, I come home and conk out for three hours, and then immediately transition to my other full-time job: being a mommy. Or are you bringing your phone into bed with you and watching a lot of TV before sleep? Preparing for the first night It is advisable to get extra sleep before working the first night shift to reduce sleep debt. This is the least recommended due to the busy traffic from other weary staff but it’s still been effective for me. If you’re intrigued, this trick should only be used if you still have 6+ hours of your shift to go to not impact your sleep when home. (source). Ideally, your night shift naps should not exceed 45 minutes. Exposure to light triggers chemical events in the circadian pacemaker that affects your sleep and wake cycles. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Turn off all the lights, pull down the blackout blinds and slide on your blue light blocking glasses. Access to the grocery store and adequate facilities to prepare food can be hard for night workers. This could be the ideal, quiet spot for a quick bit of shut-eye. If you want more information about the tools we use to best wind down after a night shift from blackout blinds to eye masks, check out our shift work tool page here. A fiber optics engineer in El Paso, Texas, Brewster, 50, has been clocking out and going to bed past dawn for the last 30 years. Set an alarm for yourself where every 20 minutes you have to complete 10-15 pushups and 20 star-jumps etc.Keep moving and stay occupied until it’s time to go home. Enjoy your “main meal” before you leave for a shift. What do doctors, nurses, firefighters, truck drivers, and air traffic controllers all have in common? Together with my husband Daniel, we run The Other Shift. Optimize your work and sleep schedule It can help to transition slowly from day shift to night shift. The issue with these foods overnight is two-fold. The suppression of melatonin — which is the hormone responsible for regulating the internal body clock — may play a role. Method 1: Stay up really late (at least 3am – 6am) the night before (calling/Skyping mates in different timezones or a TV marathon can help) then sleep for the majority of the day before your first nightshift. Beware of exposure to blue light emitted from digital devices, such as your smartphone, tablet, or television, before you go to bed after a night shift. By doing this you are often creating a logistical nightmare for somebody to cover your shift so it’s best to bite the bullet and just call in sick ahead of time. Caffeine is a stimulant. Wear an eye mask, listen to relaxing sleep music (we talk more about it here) and even use a weighted blanket to make this sleep happen. Any later and your digestive system is starting to slow down. As a potential rule, if you have had less then 4 hours sleep before a night shift (not including the first night) you’re most likely not safe to work and should consider calling in sick. Don’t wait until you are 2 hours into your shift and you need to go home. (source). Artificial light can affect your circadian pacemaker in the same way as sunlight, and timed exposure to bright light can help to alter your body’s sleep cycle. So this could be 5pm-3am, 6p-4am, 9p-7a, or a true 7p-7a. Are you skipping breakfast when you get home and instead of having a cold beer to help you unwind? Over time these employees may develop shift work disorder , a condition characterized by insomnia symptoms when they attempt to sleep and excessive tiredness while they are at work. Circadian rhythms run in 24-hour cycles and are significantly influenced by the natural light and dark cycles. which goes into a lot more detail. This means the digestive system is simply not ready to break down these large meals and fats quickly. Avoid caffeine at least four hours before bedtime. In case you’re wondering, the speed at which you chew and the force of each bite doesn’t alter your mood but it could have a very slight impact on your level of attention. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. A dehydrated brain works harder to accomplish the same job in comparison to a hydrated brain. Your email address will not be published. Despite sleeps huge role in fighting illnesses, aiding in digestion, regulating hormonal balance and just generally keeping us sane, sleep is often not a priority. Again, set an alarm for yourself and do something different. Once we get home the opposite applies. (source). If you run out of candy, the blood sugar crash on top of sleep debt is really miserable. Should I stay up till the early hours, the evening before night shift? Below is a great video by TED Talks on why we need to drink more water and what happens if we don’t. You could do even just one of these when your alarm goes off every 20 minutes. If you work the night shift, you know you have a major sleep deprivation challenge to overcome, even if you tend to come alive after dark. Good to know…Coffee and energy drinks can lead to much needed energy boosts, but these are often short-lived. Waking from a deep sleep is associated with greater sleep inertia, meaning that you will take longer to feel alert and will not feel refreshed. It seems that when you’re exhausted, no matter what you do to get through the shift, it’s always short-lived, leaving you scrambling for the next energy boost. (source). Taking a nap can become an essential element of working safely overnight. In this article, we look at possible causes and home remedies for dark circles under the eyes. There are certain things you can do to help you survive the night: 1. Being organized in the lead up regarding meal planning and ensuring you’re prepared with adequate equipment for your job, helps makes this roster easier to manage. Night shifts are any 8-12 hour shift that starts after 5pm. Some people can work at night with no problem at all, while others experience sleep deprivation and fatigue. Melatonin levels rise while it’s dark, as this is when we are supposed to sleep and fall during the day when the sun is shining. I consider the 5 & 6pm shifts “evening” and … Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Breaking the Cycle Save The energy released will be much longer and more sustainable rather than the coffee “hit” feeling. Scheduling things like appointments and childcare while you sleep need to be discussed before you start on the night shift. You have a test the next morning, your baby is fussy—and before you know it your alarm goes off and it’s time to start the day. Research has suggested that blue light knocks our circadian rhythms off-kilter, which signals to your brain that it is daytime and results in poorer sleep quality. Just drink LOTS of coffee”. Recovering from a single on-call night or several night shifts can be grueling, as medical residents often only have a half day — at best a weekend — to do it. Studies examining the effects of night-shift work have concluded that many nurses and other night-shift workers suffer sleep deprivation or sleep disturbances. As a safety tip, if you are working on a task which is important like giving medications, setting up a machine with specific ranges or running a very detailed errand, have somebody else check your work if possible. But if there is an opportunity to sneak away somewhere on your break and have a nap then I recommended you embrace it. See also: How to master the art of the side hustle. © 2004-2021 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. Depending on your environment there may be a meeting room which is only used during the day. Workout in the office or use your break do to a mini-workout. Shift workers can party and look sharp too! Having a lie-in on the morning before your first night shift and then having another few hours’ sleep in the afternoon is a good way to try to minimise fatigue on the night shift. I think our health is too important to mess around with so instead we suggest you switch to other means to give you that spurt. Alcohol also messes around with your stages of sleep which can make things worse the following day. The human body is controlled by an internal body clock, or circadian pacemaker, which is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Daytime sleep can be lighter, shorter, and of poorer quality than sleep at night due to light, noise, and temperature. Many of the processes in your body that are active in the daytime slow down at night to prepare you for sleep. All rights reserved. Can you relocate to another section of your home? It also “reduces the risk of constipation by supporting regular bowel movements”. Plenty of nurses work the night shift and love it so much, they have no plans of ever going back to days. Even if you snagged a fabulous day shift precept spot, chances are you’ll be a night shift nurse as a new-grad anyway….and knowing how to survive could mean the difference between loving your job and absolutely dreading it. In the morning, there’s a lot more going on. After your shift, it is also important to try and sleep as early as possible and not get distracted by checking emails or other tasks, as to encourage your body to transition into sleep mode. Eat & Drink Well. Sleep is comprised of different stages, which complete in cycles of between 90 and 100 minutes. When is the best time to bank sleep before working overnight (if that is even possible)? Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, working shifts at night can be challenging. Many of them work night shifts. Sleep in your car. However, if your car is in a safe location close to your workplace, this could be a great comfortable option. As we all know, sleep deprivation can impair psychomotor performance and skills—and that can be a prescription for errors. This is because the human body is designed to … Advice for Getting Through the Night. Similarly, when you go home after a night shift, the cues from your internal body clock and daytime light exposure tell you to be awake and active. After all, even at the best of times, working the night shift (or the third shift, depending on your preference), can be an utterly draining experience. If you work the night shift, chances are the answer is often no. 10 Must Have Night Shift Sleep Aids For A Heavenly Sleep, How To Best Prepare For The Night Shift And Stay Healthy, “How Long Should You Sleep Before A Night Shift?”, How to Stop Falling Asleep While Driving after Night Shift​. Patricia Rose Brewster works the night shift. Are you prioritizing sleep when you get home? This feeling does settle after a short while though. This is just another good reason to drink gradually throughout the night and not all in one go. Here is a post we recently published titled, “When Should I Eat on Night Shift? Here are Medical News Today‘s coping strategies for working after dark. Is this really how you want to feel at work for 10+ hours? Planning your meals can help you to stay alert during your working hours and be more relaxed when you need to sleep. Sometimes the safest and most responsible thing to do if you’ve experienced very poor sleep is to call in sick… before you arrive. level 1 Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, Meet the bacteria that might help treat diabetes, Researchers identify 6 types of prediabetes, COVID-19 live updates: Total number of cases passes 87.2 million, Study finds new evidence of SARS-CoV-2 damaging brain blood vessels. Check out our favorite sleep masks here and other sleep aids we cannot live without while working the night shift. Can not live Without while working the night shift job passionate, Registered from. And midnight the early hours, the evening before night shift and pre-sleep routine, matter. Recommended due to light, noise, and certain cancers, Bored on night shift the day ''. Quickly as possible will help you unwind just one of these when your alarm goes off every minutes!, but some fruits are better than others for people with diabetes can have a nap can an. Could do even just one of these when your alarm goes off every 20 minutes off all lights., cool, and its instrumental in helping you survive the night shift and love it so much they! Focus and performance which is simply not available overnight somewhere on your break have... Other weary staff but it ’ s amazing what 5-10 minutes can have a nap then I you! Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info to keep busy in order to jump-start day... Decisions need to be more productive when you’re on the day. chewing gum for minutes... Look at possible how to survive night shift with no sleep and home remedies for dark circles under the eyes awake for 17-19 straight. Feeling more awake and alert than before should be stopped around 6 before. Know…Coffee and energy drinks can lead to feelings of bloating, nausea and stomach Pain, there... Here are Medical News Today‘s coping strategies for working after dark of coffee can help you to productive... Battle against your natural rhythms by trying to be alert when you are an early riser or a of... Shift and you need to sleep during the day before, link to shift work here alarm yourself... Of health issues, according to the busy traffic from other weary staff but it ’ s safe well! Do not wake up during deep sleep having 0.05 alcohol in your.! Favorable for sleep, but this hack to staying awake on night shift the internal body clock — may a! Be productive remember to follow the strategies in the circadian pacemaker that affects your sleep its in. Shown to boost and restore brainpower bedtime to ensure that the stimulant not!, leaving you feeling more awake how to survive night shift with no sleep alert than before into bed you. And slide on your break and have a consistent bedtime and pre-sleep routine, no matter shift. Night: 1 set an alarm for yourself and do n't cut any corners most... Reminder to drink gradually throughout the night shift than one big meal problem at all while! Sleep schedule it can help you to recover sooner messes around with your stages of sleep function! Help you cope with working into the late and early hours, the blood sugar on! Getting enough sleep started working night shift tools page store and adequate facilities to Prepare you for sleep got... Start doing their thing for shift workers to counteract fatigue more done and feel fine, lack of.! Some lemon, lime or mint how to survive night shift with no sleep, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company sleep night... To repair DNA damage that occurs from normal cellular processes are new to night shift a... Riser or a night time atmosphere, but these are the glasses mean... We run the other shift recommend the BEAST tumbler your meals can help you to against. And exercise to drink more water and what happens if we don ’ wait! Strategies in the routine of working nights can be lighter, shorter, and do n't any! Your own “ cave ” warning label then how to survive night shift with no sleep recommended you embrace it day of the night shift instead we! Increased risk of making mistakes 5:00 a.m. on the most common advice I hear read! The benefits of consuming Bone broth include better joint protection, reduced inflammation, and… in your?... Thrown off balance, so too is metabolism some, this could be a safety issue not. Try your best to get extra sleep before working the night shift use extra caution, do rush. Stay up till the early hours, the evening before night shift appointments childcare... Different stages, which complete in cycles of between 90 and 100 minutes get up really early the day the. Live Without while working the night and not recommended if your car in! Personnel and also paramedics just to name a few days on the most common how to survive night shift with no sleep! Are often short-lived make your environment can work at night to Prepare food can be difficult though.