As a travel nurse, you are probably use to change and having to adapt to new environments, but working a night shift can really take a lot of adjustment.
Getting enough sleep, having a personal life and staying healthy can be more challenging than a regular day shift job. We have some tips and tricks to help you survive the graveyard shift.
#1. Make a sleep schedule
The saying “humans are creatures of habit” is true. Disruptive change can really throw off your body’s circadian rhythm. Establish a bedtime routine. It could be something as simple as, taking a hot shower, brushing your teeth, washing your face and watching some Netflix or reading a book before bedtime. Do things that help you relax and wind down before bedtime.
#2. Invest in dark curtains
Sleeping in the day can be a challenge if constant sunlight is flooding into your room. Find blackout curtains to block out the sunlight. This will help keep your room quiet and darker during the day and night.
#3. Turn off your phone
Uninterrupted sleep is crucial to a good night’s sleep. It can be easy for your friends and family to forget that you work the nightshift. You can set your cell phone to “do not disturb” or “airplane mode” or just completely turn your phone off.
#4. Be caffeine conscious
A couple hours before bedtime, try to avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine can keep you up, cause insomnia and even dizziness. If you need to have a caffeinated drink to keep you going, make sure to drink it early in your shift.
#5. Wear dark shades when you are driving home
According to The National Sleep Foundation, putting on shades when you leave work at dawn will help you avoid disrupting your body’s Circadian rhythm. It helps trick your body to believe that it is nighttime, and it will be easier for you to rest.
#6. Avoid drinking too much liquid before bed
Before bedtime, make sure to use the bathroom. Try to drink less liquids an hour before bedtime to prevent interrupted sleep from a full bladder.
#7. Keep a cool temperature in your room
A cool temperature will help you sleep better. If you stay cool during the night, you will not get overheated and wake up.