Working when your body is supposed to be sleeping can be tough. It throws your sleeping pattern, eating routine and can take some adjusting to!! I have just finished my first week of 'out of hours' work for uni which actually wasn't too bad, and here's how you can get through working nights too...
1) Go in with a positive mindset: if you start off feeling rubbish then you're only going to make the night drag for yourself!
2) Stay hydrated: if you're like me, you forget to drink during the day, never mind the night...but water is super important to keep any headaches at bay!
3) Bring comfy clothes: If you're lucky enough to catch a few hours sleep in between tasks, bring some comfy clothes to change into. It'll help your body get into 'time to sleep now' mode.
4) Bring healthy snacks: If you're not lucky enough to sleep in breaks then you're going to need energy to get you through the night! Healthy snacks like bananas, yogurts and nuts give you energy without making you feel slugging and bloated.
5) Invest in some decent ear plugs: It can be hard to sleep during the day so give yourself the best chance possible by blocking out the hustle and bustle of the day. I absolutely love theses ones.
6) Wear a night mask: Daylight sends signals to your body that it's time to be up and about. Stop those signals by wearing a comfy night mask during the day when you're catching up on your zzzz....
7) Reduce the brightness on your phone: Ideally, you should try and avoid using your phone when you want to try and sleep...but if you absolutely must, reduce the brightness setting! You can also download a free app called Twilight, which gets rid of the blue light on your phone which otherwise prevents you sleeping,
8) Play white noise: Another tip for helping you get your sleep is to play white noise from your phone. I always use this link. It'll also help drown out any outside noises.
9) Stay busy!: If you don't get many breaks in your shift , then my advice would be to power through and keep yourself on the go as much as you can. As soon as you start to slow down, your mind will too and you'll struggle.
10) Find what works for you: Because I was getting sleep within my shift, I kept my eating routine the same as normal...but if you're up all night, it might be worth shifting it round to re-programme your body into a reverse routine. I found power naps before my shift made me feel groggy but some people swear by them!
If you have any other advice on how to survive a night shift, drop them in the comment box below :)
p.s. I now have a facebook page which you can find here