Night work is a great option for some people – and it tends to pay better. But whether you’re in healthcare, warehousing or frontline work, working a night shift can certainly be a challenge. It’s not natural for your body to be active during sleeping hours, so you’ll need to put in place a few safety nets to help yourself adjust. The beginning can be tough – but once you establish a routine you’ll find your night shift gets easier and you’ll find more ways to enjoy your job.
Here are our top tips for working nights:
- Regulate your sleep cycle
- Drink water
- Eat at small intervals
- Eat nourishing food
- Talk with your colleagues
- Establish a healthy relationship with caffeine
- Focus on keeping busy
7 ways to deal with night shift jobs
1. Focus on keeping busy
The busier you can keep yourself on a night shift, the better! Being idle only leads to boredom which leads to sleepiness. Make sure you’ve got a full list of tasks to complete during your shift. If your workload is looking a little light, ask your manager to give you more work. Not only will this help you stay awake, but your manager will be impressed by your work ethic and this could help build a case for a payrise.
2. Regulate your sleep cycle
One of the most important steps in adjusting to night shifts is regulating your sleep cycle. It’s no use trying to live a normal life during the day – you’ll end up burning the candle at both ends. Make sure you’re getting 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep during the day to give your body enough rest before the graveyard shift.
3. Drink water
Staying hydrated is key in keeping your energy levels high. The more hydrated you are, the more awake you’ll feel. Let’s not forget that 60% of the human body is made up of water. Your body needs regular intakes of water to perform optimally. It’s simple, but effective!
4. Eat at small intervals
Your body’s digestive system may not take well to eating a heavy meal during a night shift. Instead, try eating small amounts at regular intervals to avoid upsetting your digestive system and ward off any feelings of sluggishness.
5. Eat nourishing food
It’s not just important to make sure you’re eating at regular intervals, but it’s equally as important to ensure that what you’re putting into your body is going to nourish it. After all, you are what you eat, right? Junk food and sugar will only deplete your energy levels and may even cause you to crash and burn. Try eating more raw foods, healthy juices, nuts and pulses to get your energy levels up. It’s best if you can create a meal plan for yourself so you don’t end up at a loose end reaching for a bag of crisps.
6. Talk with your colleagues
Try to interact with your colleagues as much as possible to help you stay alert and pass the time. If you’re sitting at a desk on your night shift, you run the risk of falling asleep at the keyboard. So be sure to keep the conversation flowing as much as possible.
7. Establish a healthy relationship with caffeine
Caffeine can be a handy assistant for your night shift, but only when used correctly. You don’t want to be drinking caffeine throughout your entire shift – this will only disrupt your sleep pattern and cause major crashes. A small amount of caffeine early on in your shift won’t do you any harm – but just avoid strongly caffeinated drinks because what goes up, must come down…
No more snoozing
Night jobs can be difficult to handle, particularly in the beginning. But stay strict with your regime, follow these steps, and you’ll be able to adjust much quicker.
Looking for night work? SonicJobs has thousands of night shift jobs in London and across the UK on our app.