Maintaining a proper sense of wellbeing and balance is one of the toughest challenges for a nurse. With night shifts playing such a strong toll on your health, it is crucial to give proper attention to the quality of your sleep. If it sounds like mission impossible, there are several things you can do that will help you make this process easier.
For starters, try to look at sleep as something profoundly restorative and a crucial dimension of your overall health. Cheating on yourself by saying you can go through night shifts without taking care of your sleep is like depriving yourself of fuel to run on.
The average amount of sleep we need per night is between 7 to 8 hours, though quality plays a huge part in getting the most out of it. How do you make sure you get a nice, restorative sleep every time you are coming off a night shift?
1. Avoid Night Shift Coffee As Much As Possible
This one is a biggie since night shifts can be a challenge. When working throughout the night requires you not only to be awake but also constantly focused, it is no wonder that many nurses sip from their coffee mugs all night long. But the truth is, no matter how much you get used to it, coffee will always affect your body and most of all, your sleep.
The only thing you do not need when you have to skip a good old night sleep is to put your body through the extremes that coffee brings. Energy crashes are not fun at 3 am, especially when you are still left with some hours of work.
Try to reduce your intake of coffee to as little as you can and maybe introduce some healthier ”staying awake” strategies – go for a green tea, some bites of dark chocolate or even a little energizing exercise to refresh your body.
Since we are talking about it, we cannot skip the power of exercise over the quality of your sleep. Exercising is a great way to keep your body happy and moving, which ultimately translates into easier and more restorative sleep and overall body functions.
It might be difficult to start with, but it will well be worth it. Try implementing a short daily routine of yoga or pilates during a 10 minutes break at work or even when you get back home. You will be able to fall asleep much easier, and your sleep will be deeper.
Visit page 2 to continue reading!