So it’s 03:40 am on a Thursday morning. My eyes ache with tiredness, I was so fresh and bouncy coming to work last night but now I feel like I could sleep standing up! Yep you know it – night duty.
Last night I had decided to tell my Snapchat followers (@Sineaddeblogger) how shit I felt after my first night shift, following this I posed the question about writing a blog on how I manage to survive nights. It proved to be popular so here you go!
(This snap at the START of a night shift not the end!) 😂
- Preparation is key!
This can be difficult but a day or two before night shifts begin I try to have some quiet time. This doesn’t always work out as I love to be on the go, and find it difficult to relax. However as I get a little older I’ve realised how important it is to just CHILL. This definitely helps me to build up a little energy pre night duty.
2. The ‘f’ word.
An essential part of your night duty – food. Before I begin nights I do a big shop to last me for the week. This may seem the least of your worries on nights but eating well will help you get through the week. I try and opt for snacks and light food. Unfortunately I suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and when my routine is upset (like switching from days to nights) my tummy hates it.
(That picture is NOT my table 😂, but you get my drift!)
Light foods make for less digestion and reduces the sluggish feeling that we really don’t need on nights. I love making a peri peri chicken salad or avocados with scrambled egg and tomatoes. Even homemade soup is nice and easy on your tummy! This will ease the digestion process and gives you a little more energy to get though your shift.
3. The ‘E’ word.
Dare I say the word, exercise. I know it is the LAST thing we want to hear during a week of night’s but I really do find this a saving grace when on nights. Bearing in mind that is, I get sufficient sleep. I try to take a little trip to the gym before a night shift, NEVER after a shift. It is just too much on the body after 12 hours work.
For me, I get quite lonely on nights. My housemates work 9-5 so my house is empty up until I leave for work. My close friends also work 9-5. On night’s I feel like I see no one only my patient’s and work colleagues- so for me the gym is my social outing during nights. When I do go the gym during nights it is light so that the body isn’t too tired ahead of a 12 hour shift.
4. Skin Care.
Skin care is crucial- but ESPECIALLY during nights. When we sleep that is our skin’s time to renew and re-juvenate itself. Lack of sleep means this won’t happen. Make sure you have a good routine in place in relation to looking after your skin. I cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day.
Opt for later foundations if you do wear make up to work. I love a little bit of make up it makes me feel a little better. I use Mac face and body or a mineral based foundation (For example – Blush).
Air con and heat (hospitals love heat) play havoc on drying out your skin. I exfoliate twice a week, this will help to remove dry old flaky sin caused by dry air. Incorporate this into our skincare routine for nights too! As well as this opt for a moisturising serum to help keep your skin looking hydrated. I am using Gorgio Armani Prima moisturising serum and I love it!
Glamglow masks are a gorgeous treat and cleanse for your skin at the end of a week of nights too. For hydration use the blue tub and for a deep cleanse try the black tub!
5. Coffee Lovers.
As most of you will know from my daily snapping (@Sindebutleir). I LOVE my coffee! I used to drink tea and coffee late into my shift, I don’t allow tea or coffee after midnight. This helps to improve my sleep when hopping into bed as well as reducing toilet trips!
6. Drink up.
I am really obsessed with how much water I drink on a daily basis. When I was 14 I had a bad Acne breakout. A Homeopath (a natural healer) told me to drink 8 glasses of water a day. He promised me my skin would improve and it did!
I drink a litre and a half of water every day – if I am away this doesn’t always happen but when in work hydration is needed. The benefits to drinking water are endless. It helps to keep skin looking plump and helps with anti-ageing.
It also helps in muscle fatigue and energy levels. Something which is crucial for night duty survival!
7. Plan a little treat/Dealing with crankiness 😂
Let’s be honest everyone needs a little treat or pick me up after nights! Due to lack of sleep, I am so much crankier and moodier nights. I always like to have something to look forward to at the end of the week.
I book a little hair appointment- nothing like a wash and blow dry or a little trip to Penney’s after a week of nights, let’s be honest we deserve it! 🙈
8. Mind over Matter.
I firmly believe in this in all aspects of life- If you tell yourself something will happen – then it WILL! I have heard so many people say “I never sleep on nights”- If you continue to tell yourself this then you won’t sleep.
Change the way you approach this – tell yourself I will sleep, I need sleep and sleep is important! Sounds crazy? I have slept for 7 hours on days after night shifts. I constantly tell myself I sleep just as well on nights as I do days. Try it sometime- you might just be surprised!
I hope this read is somewhat beneficial. Believe me it’s all easier said then done, but these are just little habits I have changed along the way and make a big difference to how I feel.
Don’t forget to say hello on Snapchat @Sindbutleir!
Happy Night Duty!