The Healthcare sector is arguably one of the most rewarding sectors of employment in the 21st Century. However, due to the fast paced nature of the work, the sector is riddled with its own challenges that affect its employees in a manner of ways; many Women in the Healthcare sector are faced with night shifts throughout their working lives that are not only hard, but can be incredibly unhealthy if not managed in the right way. At WiH UK, we understand the importance of looking after your health while you’re taking care of the health of others, and that’s why we have compiled our list of the top 5 tips to ensure your night shift isn’t the stuff of nightmares!
1) Get involved in some tiring activities to ensure you get a good pre- night shift sleep! Whether it’s going to the gym, going for a walk with your family or just giving the house a good deep clean, getting yourself tired will ensure you have a good night’s sleep in preparation for your night shift!
2) AVOID COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF CAFFEINE! Although caffeine can give you that quick buzz of energy, at some point you will face the ‘Coffee Crash’ and find yourself falling deeper into tiredness! Of course indulge in a cup of tea or two, but try to avoid any caffeine in the second part of your shift to ensure that you sleep when you get home!
3) DON’T FILL UP ON JUNK FOOD AND EASY SNACKS! While on your night shift, your body is already taking a real battering and its best to ensure that you eat good, healthy food and intake plenty of water in order to remain high functioning! The last thing you need is a rumbling stomach and dehydration! Snack often throughout your shift in order to maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid the slump later on.
4) CONSIDER SCHEDULING YOUR SLEEP. If you don’t want to upset your rhythm why not try two long naps throughout the day instead of one big chunk of sleep to ensure you still get some vital sunlight hours but still get the rest that your body needs for those long shifts!
5) After your shift, we understand that you can feel too switched on to get your head down! If you get home and find yourself lying awake, staring at the ceiling, just willing yourself to get some sleep, do something to battle your wakefulness like watch TV for half an hour, read a book or listen to some music. This will ensure that you reset yourself and get the rest you know you need and deserve! We also understand that you can feel isolated when taking night shifts, so why not try organising breakfast with your colleagues in the morning to keep morale up and know that you are not alone!
If you feel like your night shifts are getting the best of you, or really find yourself struggling to turn off after a shift, don’t hesitate to seek help from a doctor to help you deal with the adjustment of night shift work.
Want to share your experiences of the world of healthcare with like-minded individuals?
Join us on the 24th November 2017 for our ‘Empowering Women in Healthcare’ Coffee Morning @ Weetwood Hall, Otley Road, Leeds.
The morning promises to be one of discussions, networking and empowerment for all attendees!