How to stay awake on night shift without sleep
If there is no opportunity to take a 10-minute cap nap during your shift, here are tips and tricks to help you stay awake.
Food to keep you awake on night shift, Sniff and Chew
Chew green apples, carrots, celery, or something healthy.
The chewing action helps keep the brain active.
Try sniffing nasal unblockers when you feel tired.
An ice pack, place a cold pack on the back of your neck; this will help to stop you from yawning.
How to stay awake on night shift without caffeine
Too much caffeine can cause jitters which is not a good thing to have at work.
Modafinil is a great supplement, and it will for sure make you stay awake.
What is the Best Sleep Schedule for Night Shift Workers?
Working nights is a necessity across several professions. But, the night shift has its perks. Often, night work pays better than regular shift work.
Night shift also often sees people work more independently in less hectic environments.
What Is The Best Sleep Schedule for Night Shift Workers?
In the long-term, night shift work puts workers at an increased risk of developing;
- and even different cancers.
The exact mechanism that results in higher chances of certain diseases isn’t understood. However, what is known is that lack of sleep is a chief contributing factor.
As a rule, night shift workers should try to stay healthy by getting at least 8 to 9-hours of sleep each day.
This will help prevent long-term health problems from arising.
Night workers should sleep as soon as possible after shifts are over.
Wherever possible, night workers should limit exposure to daylight in between shifts ending and sleeping.
The best sleep schedule for night shift workers will be one where people sleep and wake at the same time each day.
It is also advisable to nap for approximately 90-minutes before the start of evening shifts.
This will help increase energy and focus during working hours.
The best sleep pattern for night shift work will be one where you reverse your usual waking and sleeping routine.
But, this is easier said than done.
Irregular shift patterns can make it challenging to stick to a set sleep schedule.
Often, days off from work see people switching back into normal resting and waking routines.
Family and general life commitments can result in inconsistent sleep patterns and sleep deprivation.
If you find it challenging to maintain a set sleep schedule, you may start experiencing problems–more symptoms known as night shift disorder.
What is Night Shift Disorder?
Night shift disorder is common in full-time night workers. Common symptoms include:
- Temporary and chronic insomnia.
- Feeling sleepy during working hours.
- Low energy and chronic fatigue.
- Difficulty focusing on essential tasks.
- and Relationship problems.
If you work nights and experience these symptoms, some medications can help.
Using Modafinil to Treat Night Shift Disorder
In the 1970s, French pharmacists invented a drug called Modafinil. First used to treat people with narcolepsy, Modafinil works by turning off the brains’ need for sleep for up to 6 to 8-hours.
After taking 200mg of Modafinil, users are freed from fatigue and sleepiness and have a heightened sense of focus. Best of all, Modafinil is not addictive.
Neither will Modafinil disrupt standard sleep patterns if taken once a day when extra wakefulness is needed.
Modafinil does not show up on workplace drug tests!
Is it Safe to Use Modafinil When Working?
Unlike other wakefulness medications like Adderall, Modafinil is safe to use when working. The drug does not interfere with reaction times, cognitive focus, or a user’s ability to reason correctly.
Instead, Modafinil enhances cognition and improves reaction times.
When used responsibly, it is also safe to take Modafinil regularly long-term. Remember that Modafinil itself isn’t a substitute for sleep.
As a rule, you will still need to rest each day and, if using Modafinil, should only do so before starting a night shift.
How Much Does Modafinil Cost?
Prices are in US dollars, and we’ve used 100 tablets of Modalert 200mg as the benchmark.
- High Street Pharma 100 tablets = $104.00,
- Coupon discount applied,
- Sharkmood 100 tablets = $133.00,
- Buymoda 100 tablets = $169.00,
- ModafinilXL 100 tablets = $169.00,
- Mod.AF 100 tablets = $179.00.
When ordering from High Street Pharma, use the coupon code, welcomeback, to receive the discount.
How to Prepare for Night Shift
Suppose you’re facing the daunting challenge of working night shift for the first time.
Then we have some great advice to help you make the switch from days to nights a breeze!
If you’ve never made the switch from day shift to night shift or have had the opportunity to work a rotating 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 an absolute nightmare.
Before Your First Night Shift
Your body can usually adapt faster if you make more minor changes to your schedule instead of completely swapping sleep patterns in one night.
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 most complex parts of making the switch from day shift to night shift is breaking your body’s sleep habits and 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.
taking a nap before you start your night shift comes in handy.
You want to aim to nap 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 blackout curtains for your bedroom.
Try to stick to your usual evening routine and trick your mind into following your habitual patterns.
This is especially true if you are a medical professional, work in the emergency services, or work nights regularly in another capacity.
Therefore, look at how to prepare for night shift work in a way that minimizes stress on both the body and mind.
At the end of our guide below, we’ll also look at one way to eliminate fatigue from night work.
Plan and Manage Your Sleep Pattern
When just starting to work nights, it’s easy to fall into the habit of burning the candle at both ends.
Sadly, regularly missing sleep will soon result in fatigue, insomnia, depression, and a host of other adverse consequences.
For this reason, it is imperative to try to plan a more healthy sleeping pattern.
Always allocate 7 to 9-hours of sleep as soon as possible after your night shift ends.
Make sure to sleep in a dark, quiet room free of disturbances.
If possible, try to stick to set shift patterns that allow you to rest at the same time each day.
Ideally, try to return home to rest while it is still dark.
Also, remember that the only way to make up for lack of sleep is to rest for an equal period soon afterward.
How to Prepare for Night Shift Work Physically
In the U.S., there are approximately 15 million night shift workers. Many keep the gears of vital services like hospitals in motion.
However, in the long-term, night work can result in everything from weight gain to higher incidences of cancer.
Thankfully, physically preparing for overnight shift work can reduce incidences of many nights shift-associated health problems.
If you can do all of the above, night shift will have less of an impact on your physical well-being.
Try to Control Blue and Bright Light Exposure
Everyone knows that watching television late into the evening can disrupt sleep.
This is because bright light exposure triggers hormones in our bodies that promote wakefulness.
being in a dark environment triggers the production of melatonin that promotes sleep.
When traveling to and from work (in the morning or evening), consider wearing sunglasses to reduce exposure to daylight.
At work, try not to work in dark environments. Ideally, only work in brightly lit areas.
After work, try to limit exposure to blue light-emitting devices like smartphones.
Make Sure to Maintain a Healthy Diet
it is easy to fall into less structured eating habits when working nights. As a result, excess snacking can result in weight gain.
Only to eat energy-releasing carbohydrates at the beginning of your shift.
Eating energy-releasing carbohydrates towards the end of the shift can make it more challenging to rest afterward.
Nap if You Can
Depending on the nature of your work, taking a nap in the middle of your shift might not be possible.
However, if you can take a nap, doing so is a fantastic way to increase mental Alertness.
Napping for 20 minutes will give most people a valuable energy boost.
During the day, people usually eat at set times three times a day.
However, it is easy to fall into less structured eating habits when working nights. As a result, excess snacking can result in weight gain.
To prevent weight gain, try to stick to a set meal schedule. Make sure only to eat energy-releasing carbohydrates at the beginning of your shift.
Eating energy-releasing carbohydrates towards the end of shifts can make it more challenging to rest afterward.
Consider Using Wakefulness Therapeutics Like Modafinil
When it comes to preparing for night shift work, there will always be individuals who struggle to find a healthy balance.
When this is the case, some workers might start exhibiting symptoms of night shift disorder.
If you start feeling irritable, can’t focus for long periods, or start experiencing insomnia, it is essential to seek medical attention.
When you do, most doctors will prescribe drugs like Modafinil.
Modafinil is a 100% safe, non-addictive stimulant that is proven to eliminate fatigue, improve focus, and encourage healthier rest in night shift workers.
- Higher thinking,
- and Alertness.
What would you do with an extra few hours in the day?
- Or the ability to churn out buckets of focus on one task until it’s completed?
- Or able to experience more fluid speech and expression of thoughts?
- Increased confidence?
- A memory that doesn’t fail you?
Top 5 Rules When Preparing For Night Shift
Any nurse, hospital intern, or security guard on the night shift would attest that sleep deprivation is one of the most daunting aspects of their work.
However, human beings are a highly adaptive species.
Just like fitness training is a matter of continually testing and conquering our existing physical limits, adjusting to a nighttime routine is also within the bounds of our adaptability.
All it takes is a little effort to understand how sleep patterns work concerning our biology and use that information to work out a balance.
Our natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness is part of a circadian rhythm, an internal clock that guides how we feel and behaves through the different day phases.
This rhythm is dependent on the amount of light our senses perceive.
When it gets dark, the circadian centers in our brains produce a hormone called melatonin.
This hormone works to prepare us for the night by making us sleepy and tired.
Mastering the night shift means going against this natural program.
Still, several steps can be taken to overcome these bounds and find an excellent answer to the often-asked question: how can I stay awake on the night shift?
1. Practice Altered Sleep Pattern Beforehand
Unless you want to spend the first few night shifts wracked by subpar work performance, you must start resetting your internal clock beforehand.
Shifting to a day-night cycle can take up to a week.
Begin this practice by trying to stay awake for a whole night. Keep yourself engaged in a task that requires you to stay alert.
Only go to bed after the sun rises, keeping light cues to a minimum.
This process will feel hard initially, and you might end up feeling exhausted during the early days.
However, in time for your night shift a week later, you’ll notice that your body has adjusted to a new sleep routine.
2. Increase Exposure to Bright Lights
Sometimes you might experience sudden onslaughts of sleepiness on the job despite altering sleep patterns beforehand.
Exposure to bright light is a handy trick to counter such a situation. Our internal clock perceives light as a cue to drive the body into alertness.
Artificial light is no different from sunlight when it comes to circadian signaling.
Also, intermittent exposure to LED lights and desk lamps can delay the release of melatonin and help your body stay awake.
Any light source is your best friend here; keep them close at hand during a night shift.
According to a study, people who exposed themselves to bright light during shifts and used sunglasses to avoid light exposure on the way home succeeded in getting sounder sleep post-shift instead of their peers who had no light exposure.
This means that light exposure must also be kept to a minimum when you’re trying to catch up on sleep in the morning after the shift.
Invest in a pair of dark sunglasses, blackout curtains, and sleep masks to facilitate better sleep.
3. Caffeinate, Smartly
Caffeine is a widely used workplace stimulant. The ideal way to utilize its benefits on the night shift is to use it in a regulated and scheduled manner.
One large cup of coffee before the start of the shift sounds tempting but is neither as helpful nor healthy as smaller doses throughout.
Science has shown that smaller, more frequent doses of caffeine lead to better cognitive and overall functionality during prolonged periods of wakefulness.
Spaced-out and smaller caffeine intake also help avoid various side-effects of excessive, upfront dosing like stomach aches, shakiness, and anxiety.
Additionally, smaller doses are less likely to interfere with your chances of falling asleep soon after getting home.
4. Stay Active and Keep Busy
There is a reason why experts studying sleep recommend avoiding vigorous exercise during the later evening hours.
Anyone wishing to stay awake at night can use the energy boost exercise imparts on our bodies.
Taking a quick walk and doing some stretches or jumping jacks are effective ways of staying energetic during your night shift.
The same can be said of keeping busy with tasks that need you to engage your mental faculties.
The pursuit of a work-related goal, for example. It can help push through lingering drowsiness to arrive at a more alert and active mental state.
5. Use Scheduled Breaks for Naps and Nutrition
Hydration and proper meals go a long way in keeping you awake for your night shift, as metabolism is also thrown off balance along with your sleep schedule. Make sure to pack healthy meals from home.
This is not to caution against the unavailability of good meal options at a late hour; there is a documented increase in metabolic problems and obesity in night shift workers.
It is best for night shift workers to take frequent light meals consisting of bread, rice, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid fried or processed foods, as these can take a long time to digest.
Taking a short nap during your break can be restorative.
Take out 20-45 minutes from your scheduled break to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
Keep below 45 minutes; these power naps help lower fatigue levels and leave you feeling ready to take on the rest of your shift.
Depending on your make-up, it may take you less or more time and effort than average to adapt to a night shift.
Giving these tips a try can help you a great deal. What’s important is that you take conscious care of your health while making these changes.
As you make your transition to the night shift, bring family members on board, and build a support system catering to your emotional needs.
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