Tips on Working the Night Shift

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Working night shift means being awake when other people are fast asleep and trying to sleep when most of the world is active. While some people take very well to working late at night, other people find that the transition can take some time and effort. Here are several tips that can help you get used to a night shift schedule.

Create an Artificial Night

  • If there is light coming into your bedroom, you will not be interested in sleeping. Light cues your body to wake up, and after working a long shift, that is the last thing that you want. Use thick curtains that cover up your windows completely, and if necessary, use a rolled towel to prevent light from coming in under the door. Use earplugs to stop noise from interfering with your sleep.

Stick With a Schedule

  • Decide when you are going to go to sleep and when you are going to wake up. Sticking with a schedule allows you become acclimatized to going to sleep during the day or the morning.

Do Not Go Straight to Bed

  • Walking in the door after a night shift and falling into bed can give you poor quality sleep. Give yourself half an hour to unwind before you go to bed. Do something that will relax you, like taking a warm shower or reading a book.

Exercise On Your Break

  • Getting through a full night shift, especially if you have been on day shift previously, can be difficult. During your break, walk around the building, do sit-ups or jog in place. A small amount of adrenaline can help you get your energy back, which will get you through the rest of your shift.

Take Care of Errands Early

  • If you need to go to the bank or do some grocery shopping during the week, do it right after you get off work. You will still be alert and you will have an advantage over workers who are just starting their day.

Eat Well

  • Remember that restaurants and grocery stores may not be open when you want to eat. This means that you should pack a nutritious lunch for yourself as there may not be other options to eat well. Many workplaces have vending machines that are full of candy and chips, and though they can work as a quick energy boost, they also lead to quick drops as well. Healthy snacks like granola bars can keep your energy high and consistent.

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  • Photo Credit sleeping girl image by Elena Vdovina from Fotolia.com
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