Night shifts, night shifts, night shifts. Does anybody like them? Really?
There’s plenty of advice available from colleagues (and the internet) for getting through a night shift. But is any of it any good? Or will nightshift working see you slowly descend into the inevitable spiral of insanity?
Here’s some of the best, and worst advice, for surviving the dreaded nightshift.
Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep
“Working at night interrupts your natural sleep pattern,” says Fran Laukaitis, Chief Nursing Officer at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas, USA. She suggests night shift nurses take measures to create an environment conducive for sleep by using curtains that darker the room; and disconnecting things that will disrupt sleep, such as the door bell, phones and electronics.
All very well and good, but have you tried sleeping when the neighbours are in the middle of a building project!
Use (Legal) Stimulants
Some people swear by them! Red-bull, Coke, pro-plus, being the more acceptable versions. Though some people do prefer stronger versions – just make sure you don’t end up on the ceiling!
If allowed at your place of work, gum really does help you to keep alert and awake.
But avoid other sugary snacks or too many treats as you can go through a hard crash after the initial spike.
Lots of Coffee
Technically another stimulant. But coffee is a great tool for enhancing alertness. And it tastes as though it’s keeping you awake as well.
Just don’t over rely!
Everyone’s favourite shift worker is the cake baker.
Cake keeps us all going when we hit that 3am slump.
Just don’t let it turn into a Bake-Off!
Keep Chocolate on Hand at All Times
Another favourite in the middle of the night.
Chocolate is a stimulant and is the best comfort blanket you can consume (apart from alcohol).
Get home safely
Surviving the nightshift also means getting home safely.
Stats say that 20% of all car crashes that don’t involve alcohol or drugs are caused by sleepy drivers.
However you manage to get through the nightshift, make sure you get home safely in the morning!