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Night Shift Dilemma: What Do Nurses Do On Days Off?

nurse doing yoga

Nurses work all kinds of crazy shifts. Days, nights, evenings, holidays, and weekends. Some work 8-hour shifts, 10-hour shifts, 12-hour shifts, and even 16-hour shifts. It’s tough, no doubt about it, but what makes it even tougher is when you rotate from shift to shift. One day you’re working night shift and the next you’re working day shift. How do you transition from being up all night and sleeping during the day to being up all day and sleeping all night? It’s not easy but here are a few tips I came up with after 20 years of working day and night shifts to help solve the Night Shift Dilemma: What do nurses do on days off?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jslzaH4i24Q?rel=0]

I hope this video gave you a few tips on how you can attack your next stretch of nights with confidence you can transition back to days and not feel like a zombie! Once again here are a few of my tips.

  1. Transition off the night shift mentality ASAP!
  • Go home, go to bed and set that alarm so you don’t sleep the day away and stay up all night.
  • Shoot for around 4 hours. I go to bed at 8 am for example and set my alarm for 12 pm.
  • Go to bed that night earlier than normal so you can catch up on sleep you lost working nights and be fresh for the upcoming day shift.
  1.  Eat something light, no alcohol, and no caffeine.
  • Resist that breakfast invite by coworkers or even a stop for a drink to celebrate your completion of a long stretch of nights. Both will help contribute to poor sleep and you need your quality 4 hours of sleep.
  1.  Exercise
  • Get up and move around and try to get some physical exercise. Run, walk, weights, Yoga, bike or whatever you like to do, but don’t lie around all day which will make you feel more tired.
  • Get outside and get some sun and fresh air
  1.  Don’t sleep all day and night. Chances are you will wake up early and be up all night and still be tired for day shift.
  1.  Complete tasks or errands that you couldn’t get to when you were working and start prepping for the upcoming day shift.

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