How to Handle Rotating Shifts and Night Shifts as a Travel Nurse
Working rotating shifts and/ or night shifts as a travel nurse, travel LPN, or travel CNA can disrupt not only your sleep schedule, but your mental and physical health. You might feel exhausted, and even get sick more often. Whether you’re working days, nights, rotating shifts, or a combination of all of these, read on to find out why it’s important to maintain healthy sleep, and how to do just that – even if you’re working at all hours of the day and night.
It might sound silly to practice sleeping, but, as it turns out, switching your sleep schedule a day or two ahead of time can help. Here’s what this might look like:
• Push back your bedtime on your off days.
• If you’re working rotating shifts, try to rotate your shifts clockwise.
• Adjust your sleep and wake time gradually.
Schedule sleep, but be flexible
It might seem straightforward that you need to sleep and should do it at a certain time of day or night, but when you’re working varied times and days as a travel nurse, it can be hard to get your body to cooperate.
Stay healthy and hydrated
A healthy body makes for healthy sleep. When our bodies are well-nourished and in good physical condition, it’s easier to get good quality sleep. Here are a few tips to keep your body as healthy as possible:
• Take time for self-care.
• Good nutrition and regular meals and snacks.
• Stay hydrated.
Exercise. As with self-care, a little movement can go a long way. Take a brief walk around the block when you get home from work or walk during your breaks.You could also try some gentle yoga or short exercise videos.
Set the mood to sleepy
Travel nursing is a rewarding career, but it does have its challenges. With a little planning and knowledge, though, you can rest easy.