How to Prepare for Your Nurse Night Shift

You are finally taking the plunge into an overnight shift as a nurse. Shifting your sleep schedule can be difficult, and it can be compounded if you work multiple shifts within the same month. But it’s essential that you be prepared and effective during your night shift hours. There are a few small changes you can make to help you better function overnight. Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Set a Schedule

It will be difficult to switch to this new schedule, but it’s also important you do it the right way. Focus on getting the right amount of sleep during daytime hours and be willing to adapt even on your days off. Resist the urge to try to have a more normal schedule even when you’re not working since it will affect your ability to sleep and function on your next night shift. By creating a schedule your body will be able to adapt to this new normal much easier.

Eat Well and Exercise

Your regular mealtimes will also be shifting with your new work schedule. This alone can throw your body off schedule. Avoid fast food or unhealthy snacks that feel more convenient because they won’t be the fuel your body needs to keep active. Stick to healthy foods and meal times at regular intervals. Add exercise to help maintain the right energy instead of caffeine boosts or unhealthy habits.

Use Light Therapy

Simple technology offers an option to help you stay awake when you need to. Work in an environment that is as brightly lit as possible to replicate day light. You can get special lamps designed to mimic sunlight. Since we biologically designed to feel sleepy when it’s dark, avoiding darkness during your light shifts will go a long way to keeping you active in your night shift job.

Use Blackout Shades

On the flip side, when you’re home and trying to sleep during the day, you need to trick your body into sleeping when it feels like it should be awake. Sunlight is a trigger to be active, so you need to block it out as much as possible. You can use blackout curtains or shades to create a completely dark environment to sleep in during the day. It also helps to keep your room cool to stay comfortable while sleeping.

Ask for Help

You don’t need to do this alone. There are resources available to help you adjust to a night shift nursing position. If you’re feeling physical symptoms from shifting your schedule, talk to a doctor. If you find that you are having more emotional responses to the change, you can seek help from a mental health professional. Exhaustion can cause stress which can impact your health and your work.

Work With a Top Nursing Staffing Agency in Dallas TX

Are you looking for a night shift position? Contact CornerStone Medical Staffing, now hiring for nurse jobs in Dallas TX.


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