For nurses who have only worked day shifts, changing to the night shift might seem impossible. At night, exhaustion and soreness sink i, and it’s difficult to maintain good energy levels or a positive mood. Many night shift nurses, however, are perfectly adjusted to the hours. They seem as upbeat and energetic as any day shift nurse. Changing from a day shift schedule to night will certainly take a physical and mental toll, but there are many ways to make the transition much easier.
It takes time to adjust to a new sleeping schedule. Strictly adhering to a new sleeping pattern isn’t enough. Fatigue will set in frequently throughout the night. Get into the habit of taking short naps both before a shift and during breaks. Remember to keep all naps short. Sleep for around ten to fifteen minutes at most. Any longer will exacerbate tired feelings.
Be Careful with Caffeine
When dealing with feelings of exhaustion, coffee and energy drinks are the first things people reach for. However, relying too much on caffeine can do more harm than good. When caffeine wears off, it’s common to feel even more tired than before. In addition, loading up on caffeine before a shift ends can make it more difficult to sleep at home.
Nursing is a very active job, but there are numerous times, especially at night, where there’s little to do besides sitting around and doing paperwork. Stay active by taking walks around the hospital, stretching or jogging in place. Even simply choosing to stand instead of sit will improve blood flow and increase energy.
For more motivation to keep moving, wear fitness trackers. They monitor heart rate, breathing, steps, calories burned and much more. Some people even make a game out of their regular exercises.
Many people, particularly those in high-stress jobs like nursing, tend to overeat when they’re finally able to sit down for a meal. However, filling up on a big meal only increases feelings of fatigue. Instead, eat moderately during lunch and dinner and address feelings of hunger throughout the night with small, healthy snacks like carrots, celery, nuts, cheese or yogurt.
Switching from day shift to night is difficult and taxing, but with a few habit changes and some mindfulness, the transition can be made much smoother. For anyone looking for day or night shift nursing jobs in their area or for those looking to enhance their nursing careers, contact Therapia Staffing.