We all know that working the night-shift at your CNA job comes with certain challenges. The struggle to sleep during daylight, feeling tired when you are awake, and insomnia when you’re supposed to be asleep. In fact, studies have shown that people who work abnormal shifts are likely to suffer from Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) which can include symptoms such as insomnia and excessive sleepiness, irritability, lack of concentration, and more. Needless to say, none of these effects aide a person in doing his best at a caregiver job.
Locking into a overnight shift rhythm isn’t always easy, but there is good news. There are steps you can take to ease the ill-effects of the night-shift and even make it enjoyable. Here are five tips for working the night shift:
1. Change your schedule slowly, when possible. It’s easiest for you body to adjust if you take a few days to ease into your new sleep cycle. Studies show that it takes at least two days, and up to a week to shift your schedule.
2. Avoid caffeine. Even though it gives you a momentarily satisfying burst of energy, caffeine users have a harder time falling asleep than those who refrain.
3. Know your sleep habits. It helps if you’re in touch with how you sleep and can provide yourself with the conditions necessary for good rest. Be sure you know when to start winding down, and have a dark, comfortable room ready to go.
4. Schedule your life carefully. Some people miss out on valuable sleep because they need to pay the bills, clean the house, go grocery shopping, etc. If you can, schedule a time to do these tasks outside of your planned sleeping hours. This way you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home is in order when you’re resting.
5. Notice and appreciate the benefits of the night shift. Some people prefer the night shift for the more laid-back atmosphere. Things are generally quieter and less chaotic during CNA job overnight shifts. It’s a unique environment from the day time.
Knowing the tricks of the night-shift trade are key to staying motivated and avoiding caregiver burnout. If you’re new to the night-shift, ask your co-workers with more experience for their personal tricks of the trade.
Looking for more CNA job tips? Read our blog called Helpful Tip For Your First Day At Your CNA Job.