Nursing night shifts are hard work, but someone has to do it. Working on the wee hours of the night, and then finding a way home in those late hours can impact the well-being of nurses.
The UK has a night shift economy of £70 billion, and nurses form a big chunk of it. Things are looking up for you if you are working with a nursing agency in Manchester.
The city revealed its plans to improve its night shift economy with 24/7 transport, commitment to night shift worker health, and mental well-being. If you have been considering working night shifts, or already are, then this is the best time for it.
Consider these tips to help you work night shifts without letting it affect you.
Get Enough Sleep during the Day
Night shifts can shock your system and deprive you of the much-required sleep. This can lead to a lot of physiological and psychological issues. So, it is best to sleep as much as you can during the day.
As a nurse, you are well aware of the importance of sleep. Your body repairs and prepares to take on the next day as you sleep. So, make sure that you pack in at least 6 hours of sleep during the day.
Eat Healthy and High-Energy Food
Eating wisely can help you sail through night shifts without batting a lid. Eating light is vital. Heavy meals tend to make you feel bloated and sleepy. So, eat small meals at frequent intervals. Eat before you leave for your shift. Carry two or three snacks to eat during your shift. Eat a couple of hours before you go to bed.
The tendency to either skip meals or eat unhealthy food is high, but overcoming that is essential for surviving the night shift. This is why meal prep comes in hand. You can prep meals for the entire week on your day off. So, during the week, you can grab and go. This will also allow you to eat a balanced diet throughout the week.
Avoid CaffeineTowards the End of Your Shift
Caffeine is very popular with the night shift staff. Many nurses swear that caffeine was what helped them survive the night shift. We suggest otherwise. Excessive caffeine can make you jumpy, fidgety, and sleepless.
Try to limit your caffeine intake to what it would be like during the day. Also, most important is not to have any at least four hours before your shift ends. This will allows the effects of the caffeine to wear off as you reach home and will enable you to sleep better.
Stay Active During Your Shift
Night shifts can be very quiet sometimes, and it can lead to making you feel lethargic. So, when the shift is quiet, continue to be active. Check on patients frequently, check supplies, walk up and down the ward or stairs, and talk to other nurses. Being proactive will allow you to overcome lethargy and sleepiness.
Try To Work Close To Your Home
The commute to and from work can be very taxing. At the end of a night shift, all you want to do is rest in your comfort zone. If your job is far from home, and you use public transport, then getting home can be a task in itself.
So, try to find a workplace close to where you live to save yourself the time and effort of the commute back home. The time you save can be used to rest or catch up on chores. Take help from your nursing agency in Manchester to find a suitable job at a convenient location.
Create a Night-Like Environment While You Sleep
When you are trying to sleep during the day, there can be a lot of distractions. We suggest you try and create a night-like environment in your room. You can do this by using blackout curtains. If you don’t have them, use a dark-colored sheet to cover the windows.
Investing in an eye mask is also a good idea. This will help blackout any light from the windows. Turn down the volume of your phone altogether to avoid getting disturbed. These are a few things that can help you rest during the day without interruptions.
Let Others Know About Your Shift Timings
Keeping family, close friends, and roommates informed about your shift timings, and weekly holidays has a lot of benefits. It will make sure that they don’t disturb you while you sleep. They will call or visit while you are awake or have the day off. Also, they will be able to check if you have returned home safely after your shift.
Night shifts are a vital part of Manchester’s healthcare system. The city has realized this fact and is the process of providing the night shift workers with the benefits they deserve. A nursing agency can advise you on how to make to most of your night shift without impacting your well-being. Night shifts are no longer the nightmare they used to be.