When moving from working a daytime shift to a nighttime shift, there can be many aspects of your life that you need to “reset” or learn to adapt to. Here are five different changes you should make to ease the transition from working during the day to working throughout the night as a travel nurse.
1. Meal prep
One way to make this transition easier is to meal prep. This way, you do not have to spend time between working odd hours and having to cook when you are exhausted from working a shift from 11pm-7am. Meal prep breakfast to eat once you are done with your shift, and have snacks packaged as well to take with you.
2. Set up a routine before bed
Studies have shown that having a bedtime routine helps trick the brain into relaxing and preparing the body for bed. Since you will be sleeping during the day, your body might not see it as “natural,” and it will be confused because you normally slept as night. Try showering, brush teeth, and reading a book before bed to signal the brain it’s time to wind down.
3. Limit the caffeine
If you’re someone who needs a little caffeine jolt before heading to work to carry you through your shift, get used to making a pot of coffee at night (when you would typically not drink it!). Limit caffeine sources like coffee and soda at least 5 hours before bed. It will take some adjusting, but not drinking coffee in the morning will help you get to bed faster.
4. Make time for exercise
There are a ton of health benefits to exercising, such as promoting feelings of happiness and feeling more energetic. Aside from keeping your heart healthy, it can promote alertness, and will also help you relieve stress. Just because you work nights doesn’t mean you should neglect physical activity!
5. Prep your home for the change
If you’re going to be working night shifts, you should invest in heavy curtains that will help block sunlight when you are trying to get some rest after working. This helps prevent shift work sleep disorder, which is when your body suffers from not getting regular amounts of sleep. It can cause depression, weight gain, and affect your immune system.
Looking for your next travel nursing job?
You can find travel placements you love when you work with a travel RN recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. The expert recruiters at MedPro will help you find placements in the best cities for travel nurses. To learn more and begin your travel nursing career, contact us today at 1-800-866-8108, or apply below.