8 Sleep Strategies for the Night Shift Nurse

Let’s talk about re-wiring your circadian rhythm. While everyone you know is sleeping and you’re awake saving lives; it can be hard to find restful sleep and keep a healthy work/ personal life balance. Sleeping during the day and working at night can be a huge struggle to function on your days on and off of work. Here are some helpful strategies to help you achieve better sleep habits.

 Tips for falling & staying asleep: 
  1. Properly relaxing before bed is very important!
  2. You can slow down and feel sleepy by deep breathing and light stretching.
  3. Take a warm shower or bath.
  4. Black out curtains to block out the sunlight.
  5. Calming music in the background (classical or nature sounds) sometimes can be necessary when lawn maintenance is going on.
  6. Turning off electronics or staying off them an hour before bed (the blue light in our phones and tv screens keep our brain awake).
  7. Aromatherapy oil diffusers (lavender, lemon, eucalyptus).
  8. Reading a book.
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What can happen to your body when you have disruptive or chaotic sleep patterns?
  • Slowed learning and thinking, which is vital when taking care of critical patients.
  • Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.
  • Decreased libido.
  • Aging skin.
  • Weight gain.

Whatever works for your schedule, if you have children and can’t fall asleep until night time at 10pm or falling asleep right after a shift at 9am, these tips will help for a deeper and more restful sleep. The body adapts very quickly so once you establish your sleep routine everything will get better.

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