The above tips are just a fraction of the ways to help you stay awake during a long night shift. Anyone who works night shift knows how hard it can be to focus and stay awake. Surviving the day after an all-nighter can be more difficult than it was to stay awake in the first place. Unfortunately, as a junior doctor, these are among the many things that you have to get used to. Over 15 million Americans work night shifts, or have jobs that require them to rotate to nights. At Shiftwork Services we recommend three key areas that can help you on night shift. While a slow day is often a welcome break for a rush, it can make it more difficult to stay awake and alert. Typically, the bulk of busy hours is during the day time. There are many challenges that face those who work the night shift.The body’s normal rhythm is to sleep at night and remain active throughout the day, so doing the exact opposite can cause stress and various potential health problems—that’s the bad news. Night shifts are daunting for a number of reasons. Many night shift workers are dependent on caffeine for survival. Getting quality sleep is important in order to stay alert, react quickly, and get home safely. Try our 12 tips. Keep cool. Cluster night shifts together. The night before stay up a little later than normal. The night shift creates a completely different environment than the day shift; one that causes a nurse to become more resourceful since there is fewer managers, directors, and Physicians on duty. Night shift work linked to depression. The World Health Organization considers it a probable carcinogen—and research suggests that if you spend your nights wide awake, you're more likely to suffer not just from certain kinds of cancer but also diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cognitive impairment. Relax before trying to sleep so your mind can unwind and process what happened during the shift. Little did I know at the time that I would work nights for a very long time (five years and counting!). Over time these employees may develop shift work disorder , a condition characterized by insomnia symptoms when they attempt to sleep and excessive tiredness while they are at work. Sometimes the dreaded all-nighter just can’t be avoided. Healy, P. (1996). Listen to Music. I got 20 years of age on you (I'm 45), that may be part of my problem with staying awake too!! Napping is also helpful for night shift workers as it can improve alertness while on the job. Light Exposure. Learn about the best and safest ways to stay up all night. With so much demand for nurses, doctors, officers and store clerks, they are being asked to work night shifts, overtime and more strenuous work during regular hours. Tips on staying awake during the night shift. Night shifts are notoriously slower than day shifts in all different lines of work. Get up at your normal time. Staying awake all night for work, studies, sleepovers, or night-shift assignments can be tough on anybody. Don’t let others talk you into skipping sleep for other things. Try taking a 90-minute nap before heading into work. I occassionally work with a young 30's agency nurse who does 7, 12 hour night shifts a week so his wife can stay home with their baby daughter. Look for groups on social media (e.g., LinkedIn, Meetup) that connect night shift workers in your area. Listening to music can be a great way to keep the mind awake. Workout routines for a 12 hour or night shift. Regulate your sleeping pattern to coincide with after-work down time, says night nurse Tom Trimble. These are the exact strategies we work with our night-shift clients in our 1-on-1 Coaching Program! Holy cow. 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