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9 Tips To Survive A Night Shift

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    1. Get an adequate amount of sleep.

    Sleeping during the day when it’s light outside and when the majority of people are awake can be challenging. To help get the sleep you need, make sure your room is quiet and cool. Before bed, block out light by using window shades or do something relaxing like listening to soft music or reading a book. Close any shades and if you need to and wear a night mask or a pair of sunglasses to keep the light out.

    2. Stay away from any stimulation before bed.

    Avoid watching TV before you go to bed, since TV stimulates the mind and avoid drinking coffee past 3pm. If your mind is not rested, it may be harder for you to fall asleep.

    3. Keep a set sleeping schedule.

    Make sure you are disciplined enough to go to bed and that you wake up at the same time. Turn off your phone or set it to silent so there aren’t any interruptions while you are sleeping. Also, let your friends and family know your sleeping schedule so they know not to call you or visit you during those times. On your off days, don’t completely throw off your schedule; it will only make it more difficult to adjust back to your shift when you get back to work.

    4. Take naps.

    Before your shift starts, take a 1-2 hour nap to charge yourself up. If you can, during your breaks, take a 10-20 minute nap. Be careful though because napping over 2 hours can cause you to feel groggy afterwards.

    5. Eat small portions throughout your shift.

    Eating small portions throughout your shift will help your body maintain a regular sugar level and will also keep you feeling energized. Lean towards eating complex carbohydrates such as pasta, grains, bread, and vegetables and avoid eating a lot of refined sugar. Eating food with a lot of sugar like a candy bars all at once or a big meal will cause you to have a “sugar high” which means that you will feel energized and feel instant gratification, but you will crash later on. Symptoms of being “sugar high” are fatigue, mood swings, and irritability.

    6. Have some caffeine before and early on in your shift.

    Have a cup of tea, coffee, or a coke to keep you awake and alert. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts up energy. Keep in mind to take in caffeine early on in your shift rather than later. Taking in caffeine later in the day may keep you from sleeping well. It can also cause symptoms like headaches, increased and abnormal heart rhythm, irritability, anxiousness, and other problems.

    7. Keep moving.

    Keep yourself moving throughout your shift to help your mind stay awake and active. Sitting idle will decrease your blood flow and cause you to become sluggish.

    8. Talk to your coworkers.

    During your shift, chat with your coworkers to help you stay focused and awake. By talking to your coworkers, you may find out that some of your coworkers may be facing the same difficulties as you are adjusting to the graveyard shift.

    9. Stay in touch with your family and friends.

    Working the graveyard shift limits the time you have to go out and spend time with friends and family including the activities you enjoy. If your schedule allows you to, schedule time to spend with your family and friends. At the very least, call them up to see how they are doing and share with them what has been going on in your life and how theirs is going, too.

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  2. rajkumar lakhyani

    rajkumar lakhyani Active member

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