Surviving nights

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Problems

Night duties are generally rather onerous for a variety of reasons:

  • There are generally fewer support staff available at nights
  • There are fewer medical staff on duty at that time
  • Tiredness impairs performance
  • Opportunities to eat and have appropriate breaks are sometimes not available
  • Catching up on lost sleep during the daytime is inefficient due to distractions and noise.

Ways to ease the strain

To survive nights, it can be helpful to try to minimise the effects of all these factors by,for example, taking a decent supply of food with you on duty, learning to say "no" to things which do not definitely need to be done at night, taking regular short breaks and avoiding excessive caffeinated drinks, which will disturb your sleep-wake cycle still further.

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