We are celebrating Nurses Week by featuring some of our amazing Med Couture Brand Ambassadors. Today, we’ve got Med Couture Brand Ambassador Caitlin here with the scoop on surviving night shifts! Caitlin is a pediatric nurse and if you haven’t read her story, click here to read it!
When I first started working night shifts, I found myself struggling to make it through the night. I was forced to make adjustments to my daily routine and had trouble keeping up with my personal life. Since then, I have been able to form a routine that works for me and actually live a normal life again! Here are a few tips for anyone just starting or having trouble with night shift:
- Invest in blackout curtains! I am sure you have heard this a million times, but it WORKS. Light and dark have a major impact on your hormone production, body temperature, and circadian rhythm.
- Keep your house at a cool temperature
- Reduce interruptions to sleep – use earplugs or listen to white noise if you have noisy surroundings (my personal favorite).
- Create a schedule that works for you and stick with it! Before my first shift, I like to go to bed around 11pm and then sleep in as late as possible (usually to around 10:30-11AM). Then I get up for the day and take a 30-60 minute nap around 4:00pm. This doesn’t work for every one, so you will just need to try out a few different things until you find out what works for you. And then, most importantly, maintain that routine!
- Stop caffeine at least four hours before the end of your shift so it doesn’t impact your sleep afterwards. When you are feeling sleepy around 4am at work take a walk around the unit.
- Last but not least, MAKE TIME FOR YOU. Sometimes this is hard, but it is important to schedule things that you like doing so you don’t start to feel overworked. For me I like hiking with my dog and, of course, happy hour…