Feeling tired? Crabby? Off-balance? Nodding off during lectures? Maybe you are not getting a good night’s sleep. A lot of factors interfere with a good night’s sleep… As a travel nurse or travel healthcare worker, you must be getting the best sleep possible.
Focus on what you can control!!!
Stick to a schedule-
Go to bed and get up the same time every day, even on weekends. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. Set this as a weekly goal!
Pay attention to what you eat and drink-
Caffeine and alcohol stimulation can interrupt sleep. Even if alcohol makes you sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night. Get coached on eating healthy!
Create a bedtime ritual of relaxation-
Relaxing activities can promote better sleep, such as deep breathing, meditation, stretching, and reading a good book. Watching television and sitting in front of the computer and iPad stimulates your brain and interferes with sleep. Try yoga or meditation.
Block out noise and light-
If your bedmate snores or gets up often during the night (be lucky if this isn’t your problem, J), wear earplugs. Get room darkening shades or blinds if the morning light wakes you up.
Limit daytime naps-
Nap no more than 10-30 minutes during the midafternoon to avoid insomnia at night.
Physical activity promotes better sleep. Get outside and go for a walk daily.
Get up to pee?
Acknowledge that this happens vs. fight it. When going back to bed, try deep breathing and/or meditation.
Does your mind wander at night, running through all that you have to remember to do? Before bedtime write down what is on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow. Tell a story to yourself about a pleasant and happy experience of the past.
Coaching can address any of the above and more, helping you set goals for physical activity, better nutrition, managing stress, creating better sleeping habits, feeling healthier, and more.
We hope that you found these tips to get a better night sleep helpful. It is essential for travel nurses and healthcare workers, especially to get the sleep you need to better care for your patients for sometimes 12+ hours at a time. Are there any tips you would like to share that you have found helpful as a travel nurse? Comment them below.