5 Ways to Deal with Night Shift
How to Prepare for Night Shift Work.
Finding an ideal work/life balance is never easy.
This is especially true if you are a medical professional, work in the emergency services, or work nights regularly in another capacity.
Here, we’ll, therefore, look at how to prepare for night shift work in a way that minimizes stress on both the body and mind.
At the end of our guide below, we’ll also look at one way to eliminate fatigue from night work.
How to Prepare for Night Shift Work Physically
In the U.S. there are approximately 15 million night shift workers. Many keep the gears of vital services like hospitals in motion.
However, in the long-term, night work can result in everything from weight gain to higher incidences of cancer.
Thankfully, learning how to prepare for overnight shift work physically, can reduce incidences rates of many night shift associated health problems.
Plan and Manage Your Sleep Pattern
When just starting to work nights, it’s easy to fall into the habit of burning the candle at both ends.
Sadly, regularly missing sleep will soon result in fatigue, insomnia, depression, and a host of other adverse consequences.
For this reason, it is imperative to try to plan a more healthy sleeping pattern.
Always allocate 7 to 9-hours of sleep as soon as possible after your night shift ends.
- Make sure to sleep in a dark, quiet room free of disturbances.
- If possible, try to stick to set shift patterns that allow you to rest at the same time each day.#
- Ideally, try to return home to rest while it is still dark.
Make sure to remember, too, that the only way to make up for a lack of sleep is to rest for an equivocal period soon afterward.
The body also likes sticking to a set routine. If you can do all of the above, night shift work will, therefore, have less of an impact on your physical well-being.
Try to Control Blue & Bright Light Exposure
Everyone knows that watching television late into the evening can disrupt sleep.
This is because bright light exposure triggers hormones in our bodies that promote wakefulness. Conversely, being in a dark environment triggers the production of melatonin that promotes sleep.
Because of the role, light plays in sleep, minimizing light exposure throughout the day can help people sleep easier after night shifts are over.
- When traveling to and from work (in the morning or evening), consider wearing sunglasses to reduce exposure to daylight.
- At work, try not to work in dark environments. Ideally, only work in brightly lit areas.
- After work, try to limit exposure to blue light-emitting devices like smartphones.
Make Sure to Maintain a Healthy Diet
During the day, people usually eat at set times three times a day. However, when working nights, it is easy to fall into less structured eating habits.
As a result, excess snacking can result in weight gain.
To prevent weight gain, try to stick to a set meal schedule. Make sure only to eat energy-releasing carbohydrates at the beginning of your shift.
Eating energy-releasing carbohydrates towards the end of shifts can make it more difficult to rest afterward.
Nap if You Can Do So
Depending on the nature of your work, taking a nap in the middle of a night shift might not be possible.
However, if you can take a nap, doing so is a fantastic way to increase mental alertness.
- Napping for 20 to 45-minutes during night shift work will give most people a valuable extra energy boost.
- Research shows that naps can help night shift workers counter fatigue.
- If possible, try to nap before shifts in the evening before shifts start. This will increase physical energy and alertness.
Consider Using Wakefulness Therapeutics Like Modafinil
When it comes to how to prepare for night shift work, there will always be individuals who struggle to find a healthy balance.
When this is the case, some workers might start exhibiting symptoms of night shift disorder.
If you start feeling irritable, can’t focus for long periods, or start experiencing insomnia, it is important to seek medical attention.
When you do, most doctors will prescribe drugs like Modafinil.
Modafinil itself is a 100% safe, non-addictive stimulant, that is proven to eliminate fatigue, improve focus, and encourage healthier rest in night shift workers.
Modafinil’s has the ability to improve;
- Higher thinking,
- and Alertness.
What would you do with an extra few hours in the day?
- Or the ability to churn out buckets of focus on one task until it’s completed?
- Or able to experience more fluid speech and expression of thoughts?
- Increased confidence?
- A memory that doesn’t fail you?