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How to Prepare for Night Shift.
If you’re facing the daunting challenge of working night shifts. Then we have some great advice to help you make the switch from day shift to night shift a breeze!
If you’ve never made the switch from day shift to night shift or have had the opportunity to work a rotating shift calendar. It can be a massive shock to the system. Our bodies get used to doing things at a specific time, and much like jet lag making the switch to night shift can be a real nightmare.
In the following article, we’re going to check out some useful ways that will help you make the switch to working night shift!
Before Your First Night Shift
Your body can usually adapt faster if you make smaller changes to your schedule instead of trying to swap sleep patterns in one night completely. If you have a few days between your shift change, start to shift your sleep pattern by 2-3 hours. Stay up a few hours later, sleep in a few hours longer.
One of the hardest parts of making the switch from day shift to night shift is breaking your body’s sleep habits and then rebuilding them again to suit your schedule. There are some sleep products available to help you if you need help.
The longer you have, the easier it will be to make this transition. If you don’t have long between shift changes, then the changes will need to be more dramatic. That’s where taking a nap before you start your night shift comes in handy.
You want to aim to have a nap of no longer than 30 minutes. Between 30-45 minutes, you’ll enter deep sleep. Deep sleep is helpful because it reduces your sleep debt, but it will also make you tired and take about an hour before you’re alert.
Staying Awake and Alert at Work
Try to avoid having your office or work area dark during your night shift. You can’t do anything about the night sky, but you can alter your work environment. If you’re working in a dark or dimly lit area, it’s going to make it much harder to stay alert.
Take your meal breaks at appropriate times during your shift. For example, eat your breakfast when you wake up, lunch mid-shift, and dinner at the end of your shift or when you arrive home. This will help your body get used to the new pattern.
Drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks may be a great way to become alert at the beginning of your shift but try to avoid them towards the end. The last thing you want is to have trouble sleeping when you get home.
Getting Home at the End of Your Night Shift
When you arrive home, it’s hard to sleep if it’s already daylight. Try to keep the curtains closed and invest in some blackout curtains for your bedroom. Try to stick to your usual evening routine and trick your mind into following your habitual patterns.
Making the Switch Conclusion
That’s our tips and tricks for making the switch from day shift to night shift.
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