If you're a visiting nurse, and you work the nightshift, you know that your patients are depending on you to stay alert. Unfortunately, that's not always an easy thing to accomplish, which could put your patients at risk. To make sure you provide your patients with the best care, you need to find effective ways to keep yourself awake, even when your eyes have other ideas. Here are four simple strategies that will help you stay awake throughout the night.
Stretch Your Muscles
If you're spending the bulk of your shift in a seated position, you need to get your blood flowing. As soon as you feel yourself falling asleep, get up and stretch your muscles. Some ways to get exercise include jogging in place for about 15 minutes, or doing some light stretches. The most important thing is that you get your blood pumping. To keep yourself alert, try exercising several times during each shift.
Reach for Healthy Snacks
If your blood sugar dips during your shift, you could find yourself feeling the effects of fatigue. To prevent those blood sugar dips, and keep yourself alert during an overnight shift, reach for the healthy snacks. Keep a supply of fresh fruits and veggies on hand at all times.
When you get dehydrated, your body and brain become sluggish. Unfortunately, when you add sluggishness to an already tired body, you can find yourself falling asleep on the job. To avoid dehydration, and prevent sluggishness, it's important that you stay hydrated throughout your shift. While you're working, be sure to keep a bottle of water nearby. For best results, bring a water container that you can refill while you're at work. This will prevent you from running out of bottled water.
Add Some Oils
You might not realize this, but aromatherapy can help you avoid falling asleep while you're at work. Essential oils are a quick and effective way to stay alert when your patients are depending on you. Just a drop of essential oil on your wrist will help give you the energy you need. Three effective oils include lemon, rosemary, and peppermint. Be sure to find out if your patients have sensitivities to aromas before using any essential oils.
If you're a home health care provider, and you're having a hard time staying awake for your graveyard shifts, use the tips provided above to help keep you alert and effective. For more information about working as an overnight nurse, contact a company like Accu-Care Nursing Service Inc.