I’m sure that anyone that has ever had to work a night shift has faced the inevitable challenge of how to stay awake during night shift. Am I right? If not, then I am super jealous. This post will hopefully give you some night shift tips on how to survive night shift and that crash that we all experience.
Night Shift Survival Tips
- Get a good “nights” sleep before your shift – There are so many different schedules that end up requiring you to work a night shift. A couple of examples include 12-hour rotating shifts, straight nights, and occasional night shift work. Whatever schedule that you are on, make sure that you get a good sleep before your night shift.
- Take a power nap before work – If you have been up for several hours before leaving for your night shift job, try to squeeze in a 20-30 minute power nap. Longer naps make you wake up and feel confused and even more tired. Right? Am I alone here? Research has shown that 30 minutes provides maximum benefit.
- Light meals and snacks throughout the shift – Once you get to work, try to eat several times during the night to keep your energy levels stable. Try not to eat a large meal or a super sugary snack, or else you might crash. Healthy carbs, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables are ideal.
- Hydrate – Dehydration can cause fatigue and tiredness. Try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. Not only can proper hydration help you stay awake during the night, but hydration also contributes to better sleep.
- Grab some fresh air – Depending on where you work and if you have easy access to the outdoors, a quick burst of fresh air could give you a short term pick me up. This is especially true if the outdoor air is just a little cool.
- Strategic caffeine consumption – Alright, I will be the first to admit that I probably drink way too much coffee. That being said, I bow out to caffeine at least six hours before going to bed. Caffeine after you wake up, on your way to work, or early in your shift can provide a pick me up. However, caffeine too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep schedule and prevent falling asleep quickly.
- Short naps and rests throughout your shift – As stated earlier, 20-minute “power naps” are ideal. If you are able, kick off your shoes, set an alarm, and grab a quick siesta. This quick nap can give you a boost to keep you going for a few more hours.
Night shift is undoubtedly hard. Hopefully some of these tips on how to stay awake during night shift will help you during your next overnight shift.