Certain organizations such as hospitals and production facilities must be staffed 24/7. However, the human body is not naturally inclined to stay up all night and sleeping during the day. This makes transitioning to a night-shift schedule inherently tricky. If you find yourself working the night shift, you may be wondering how you will survive a complete flip-flop in your everyday schedule. Check out these must-know tips to conquering the night shift jobs without feeling like a zombie!
Start With a Good Breakfast
Just as you would for a standard day shift, eat a hearty breakfast before your night shift begins. Avoid sugary and processed foods. Instead, opt for foods high in protein, such as eggs and meat. Another piece of advice is to bring healthy snacks to eat every few hours and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Be Aware of Lighting
Many facilities, especially healthcare settings, dim lights at night. To simulate daytime, keep lights as bright as possible. However, wear sunglasses to cut down on the amount of sunlight your eyes absorb on the way home because direct daylight acts as a stimulant.
Although crucial, nighttime shifts tend to be less hectic. This can make it tempting to lounge around until there is something to do. Avoid this urge. Instead, keep yourself busy. Whether it’s cleaning supplies for the next day or completing a crossword puzzle, keeping yourself occupied is advisable.
Take an Active Lunch Break
Of course, you should always take your lunch break, but eating a heavy meal can make you feel sluggish. A better alternative is to get in a quick workout, followed by a healthy snack. This will keep your energy levels up for the remainder of your shift.
Decrease Caffeine Consumption
The less caffeine you consume in 24 hours, the better for your body. However, if you must have caffeine during your shift, it is advisable to stop by 2 A.M. so sleep will not be affected. Juice is an excellent alternative to coffee.
Keep a Schedule
Find a schedule that works well for you and stick to it. Flip-flopping between days and nights will only make the adjustment more difficult, if not impossible. Even on your days off, stick to your nighttime schedule.
Create an Environment that Fosters Sleep
Many night shift employees find sleeping during the day a challenge. To promote sleep, create an environment conducive to sleep. Follow these tips:
- Listen to your body and rest when you need to rest. Avoid setting alarms unless you absolutely need to. Let your body tell you when it has had enough sleep.
- Invest in blackout window treatments.
- Keep the room a few degrees cooler than you find comfortable to achieve a deeper sleep.
- Put the screens away. Blue lights interfere with your natural circadian rhythm.
- Choose a good mattress and pillows
Working the night shift means you have completely turned your normal schedule on its head. Be patient with yourself. It will take time to adjust to your new schedule. Help yourself out by scheduling as few non-work-related activities as possible until you’ve had time to adjust.
Ready to Find the Perfect Nighttime Position?
Adjusting to the night shift is easier for some than others. If you’re naturally a night owl, you may be in good shape, but if not, it can be a rough start. The above tips will help you not only survive but thrive at your nighttime job.
Arrow Staffing is here to help you find the perfect nighttime position for your career goals and skill set. Browse available jobs today!