How do I survive the night shift

Survival 101 Tips For New Nurses Working Night Shifts

Knowing how to work a night shift and stay healthy is crucial for nurses who have to work while the sun goes down.

The job of a nurse is difficult enough, but it becomes much more difficult when you have to balance your everyday life with long, overnight hours. Not only does this make it difficult to balance your work and personal life, but it also presents a number of other challenges, such as fighting fatigue, staying busy during slow hours, and more.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to adjust to such strange hours. Therefore, it is important for executives and team leaders to help their nurses understand how to work these difficult hours without sacrificing their mental or physical health, if we can

said, let's take a closer look at tips on how to work a night shift and stay healthy.

How to work a night shift and stay healthy

When working overnight, it is important to prioritize your mental and physical wellbeing. Adjusting to a new schedule can be a lot harder than you might think and can have serious effects on your health.

So, if you're a new nurse, or you're managing a team of nurses, keep these tips in mind to get you through the night while staying healthy.

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Get Plenty of Sleep

One of the biggest problems night workers face is fatigue and lack of sleep. Working night shifts can disrupt your normal sleep schedule and it can be difficult to get a good night's sleep during the day. Not only that, but nurses with families can find it difficult to find time to sleep during the day.

Therefore, it is recommended that nurses adhere to strict sleep schedules and create environments conducive to a good night's sleep. Use blackout curtains, sleeping masks, ear plugs, and anything else that can help you fall asleep during the busy day.

Eat healthy foods

What you eat has a significant impact on your energy and stamina throughout the day, and as night shift nurses often struggle with fatigue, it is important to eat foods that will keep you energized.

In addition to making conscious, healthy decisions, it is also advisable to eat small, more frequent meals in order to provide you with a constant flow of energy throughout the day. Snacks and meals should have a healthy balance of complex carbohydrates and protein.

Nuts, fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, fruit juices and similar items are ideal for quick bursts of energy during the day.

Use caffeine moderately

Caffeine is of course a must for most workers, not just those who work night shifts. Drinking a caffeinated beverage, such as coffee or tea, before a shift can help you maintain your energy and alertness throughout the night.

Be careful not to go overboard, however, as excessive amounts of caffeine can cause negative side effects such as tremors and anxiety.

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Stay busy

An important factor contributing to fatigue is that night shifts are often slower than day shifts. Since most patients sleep at night, it can be difficult to fill the gaps during the shift.

To work a night shift and stay healthy, it is important to find productive ways to stay busy. This may include getting work done to ease the burden of day shift nurses or spending more one-on-one time with your patients.

Stay up to date on your health

Working night shifts can have negative effects on your health that you may not even notice. This can include a higher risk of diabetes, daytime sleepiness, insomnia, high blood pressure, and more.

To avoid this and to stay healthy, it is important to actively monitor your health. Be on the lookout for any new symptoms you may start and see your doctor if you think anything is wrong.

Maintain healthy relationships with colleagues

To work a night shift and stay healthy, it is important to maintain healthy relationships with your employees and managers

First and foremost, maintaining close ties with your employees and managers can help you maintain your sanity by making work easier and more enjoyable.

But more than that, staying with management and opening up clear lines of communication can improve both your work experience and your work-life balance. Dialogue with your manager means that you can raise scheduling problems and improve conditions for all employees.

For your circadian rhythm

Everyone has an internal clock called your circadian rhythm that dictates your 24-hour cycle. This clock plays a role in regulating your sleep schedule, hormones, heart rate, body temperature and much more.

Most nurses disrupt their circadian rhythms as soon as they start working night shifts, which can be unhealthy.

To avoid these negative effects and maintain a healthy internal clock, it's important to keep a strict 24-hour schedule, including weekends when you may not be working.

Work-life balance

Nurses who work night shifts face the challenge of balancing their work life with their personal life. When working late, it is common for nurses at home to feel out of the loop, as they often sleep while their family and friends are at home.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should create a schedule that will allow you to complete your tasks at work without sacrificing your personal relationships.

You should also be sure to stay in communication with family and friends through calls, texts, emails, and social media. This can help you maintain these important relationships while you work difficult hours.


Of course, exercise is critical to maintaining your physical health and maintaining your alertness through a long night shift.

Nurses tend to experience fatigue around 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. As such, you should try to avoid repetitive or tedious work during these hours as it can add to fatigue.

Instead, you can take a few minutes to reset your energy levels. Also, make sure you use breaks as a chance to stay active. It may be tempting to rest, but rest will often only worsen your fatigue.

Drive safely (or not drive at all)

Last but not least, it is important that nurses have a plan to do it safely at home each night.

If you often experience severe fatigue towards the end of the night, avoid driving home and instead opt for public transport, carpooling, or some other alternative.

Driving when tired can seriously affect your skills. So be sure to find a safer alternative if needed.