How to Avoid Sleep Deprivation: 10 Tips for Travel Nurses

In the field of medicine, many professionals, including travel nurses often undergo all-nighters just to do their work in the hospital or clinic. These hours and duties can affect several of their daily functions and even worse, can even put their patients at risk.

 

As a travel nurse, you know that there are so many things at stake when you’re doing your job. Frequent travel can add stress to your mind and body. In order to help you maintain your good health while helping others heal, here are 10 tips for you as a travel nurse to feel great and avoid fatigue.

 

 

  • Drink plenty of water

 

As a nurse, you know that water works wonders. Studies have found that staying hydrated can significantly increase your focus and energy level. It helps your brain stay alert, your muscles stay flexible, and your digestive system to be at peace. Drink an average of 64 ounces per day.

 

 

  • Go easy on caffeine

 

The suggested amount of caffeine in a healthy daily diet is around 400-450 milligrams. That’s about four or five 8-ounce cups of coffee. To help you sleep even at abnormal times, don’t go beyond the recommended amount. The caffeine can have a dehydrating effect, so be sure to balance it out with the proper amount of water.

 

 

  • Melatonin intake

 

The hormone melatonin can help people sleep at times when people are not normally sleeping. You can get some of these in local pharmaceutical stores or hospitals. Be sure to use it as directed and no more than is needed.

 

 

  • Physical activities before sleep

 

Forcing your body to be really tired before going to bed can easily make you fall asleep. After your shift is over, you can go for a brisk walk or a short run before heading to bed. This way, you won’t lie awake, which can make you more tired the next day.

 

 

  • Stick to your schedule

 

Don’t mess up your body’s clock by staying up late on the phone or computer after you go home. It’s most beneficial to have a  regular time to go to bed, so stick to it in order to have proper rest.

 

 

  • Eat right

 

Balanced and nutritious meals will take you much farther than anything you’ll find in a fast food restaurant. Even though work and life can get busy, do yourself a favor and eat well. You will feel better on a more consistent basis. Also, avoid eating late at night so your body has time to digest your food.

 

 

  • Take a nap

 

If you are feeling fatigued at work, ask someone to cover for you so you can recover. Take a quick, 30-minute nap to refresh your mind and body. You will awake feeling much more focused and ready to be your best.

 

 

  • Avoid overtime as much as possible

 

The extra hours might make for a nice paycheck, but they can take a toll in the long run. If you must work extra hours, balance them out by going to bed earlier and taking extra little things to do, off your plate. Simple is the best way to do it.

 

 

  • Finish your tasks earlier

 

If you are able to finish the things you have to do earlier, you have ample time to go home and rest. You might even have time to do some things for yourself, whether it be getting something done on that to-do list or watching your favorite movie.

 

 

  • Prioritize sleeping

 

We all need to make a living, but there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Sometimes things need to be left undone so that you can get the rest you need. When you are rested, you’ll be more apt to finish those undone things and do them even better than you would have on little sleep.

 

We hope these tips can help you achieve a better work-rest balance. If you have any questions or tips to share, contact us so we can connect with you.