Tag Archives: Health

Night shifts

I haven’t written for some time now and I like to blame it on something else rather than me being lazy, so I’m blaming it on night shifts. The night shifts are making me unfocussed and ultimately lazy!!

I’ve been doing so many night shifts that my colleagues thinks I have chosen to do so, and that really is not the case. It will have to stop after my big summer holiday which is coming up as it really does play havoc with one’s mind and body.

The comments vary when one mentions night shifts; – that must be tough, – money must be good, – not sure if I could do them. Nobody says – I’d love to do night shifts!

Unfortunately, in my opinion they are a necessary evil to many professions. There are some advantages though:

* The money is a little better but not worth it in the long run

* Usually it’s calmer – no management nor visitors

* Off-peak shopping – but if one does shift work anyhow, it’s not that advantageous

* Able to party late without getting tired as already on the night clock – a real positive!


But the disadvantages are more serious:

* The risk of bad health – tiredness, body clock changes, confusion

* Shorter life span

* Being more accident prone

* Lack of concentration


Here are some tips I’ve picked up online that I think could help:

* Sleep and eat well before a shift – easier said than done

* Most adults need 7-8 hours sleep a day, if difficult try to rest, as still beneficial

* Stay up and sleep before the next shift – this works really well for me!

* Have a short sleep before your first night shift – works if successful in falling asleep

* Have sleep-preparation rituals that promote good sleep hygiene

* Make time for regular exercise

* Don’t eat a huge meal right at the end of your shift, as it can disrupt your sleep

* Don’t go to bed feeling hungry: have a light meal or snack before sleeping

* Drink plenty of water throughout your shift

* Fuel up on complex carbs; these will release energy slowly over a long period

* Protein will fuel your muscles throughout the night

* Time your meals and activities to match your “day”

* Make your home dark during the day as sunlight wakes your body and brain

* Find a hobby you can bring to work which is mentally engaging; knitting, reading, puzzles

* Don’t do randomly scattered night shifts – be assertive and tell this to your scheduling person


Hope this help anyone out there struggling with night shifts! If anyone has any other good ideas – please post some suggestions!



Filed under Midwife, New