How to Survive Night Shifts

How to Survive Night Shifts

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​Nursing and Caring Direct's aim is to make sure patients are taken care of with the upmost dignity and care, no matter the time of day. Night shifts are part of life when it comes to caring positions. Working through the night does not come easily for some however and making sure you have a good work life balance is essential to ensuring your wellbeing remains a priority. Here are some top tips for surviving a night shift:

  • Eat little and often: Make sure you bring some food to keep your energy levels up. Eating a big meal right before you attend a night shift might actually make you sleepier. By taking healthy, slow release carbohydrate snacks, your energy levels will keep you going all night long.

  • Nap: Try to take a nap before you attend your shift. A 30 minute nap can give you the energy you need to get through the shift without making you feel groggier.

  • Caffeine: Drinking a caffeinated drink at the beginning of your shift can give you the boost you need to keep you going. Try not to drink too much towards the end of the shift though, if you’re kept awake by excess caffeine once your shift is over, you may fall into a cycle of tiredness that becomes hard to overcome and disrupts sleep cycles.

  • Drink: Make sure you drink plenty! Dehydration is a key cause of tiredness and therefore keeping some water handy will keep your body working at its best throughout the shift!

  • Stay busy: Night shifts can often be slower depending on the setting you’re working in. Watching the clock of staying stagnant for too long can make nights feel much longer. Making sure you have a rough routine and plan of tasks set out for the night will allow you to keep your body moving and alert.

  • Socialise: You aren’t alone doing night shifts, one of the best ways to get yourself through a long shift can be to chat with your co-workers! Share stories and tips with each other on the best ways to stay alert. Many staff will be experts in the best ways to stay alert while working the night shift!

  • Sleep: Make sure that you are aiming to catch up on sleep during the day. The recommended amount of sleep is 7 – 9 hours a night. Try to make sure you allow yourself this recovery time so that you don’t burn out before the next shift or struggle to continue with other aspects of your life.

Nursing and Caring Direct offer flexible working to suit you! Many people prefer working night hours for a variety of reasons. Whether it be childcare related or other commitments in daytime hours, Nursing and Caring Direct allows staff to choose which shifts suits them best! We have day and night shift vacancies, and you can check them out here: