How do you survive the night shift?

Working at night can be very tough, especially if you are not used to it. It is important to adjust your sleep and eating schedule to work hours so that you can keep up well and do not fall asleep while working. In this article you can read tips on how to get used to working at night and how to get through the night.

What is night shift?

The word says it all, night shift means that one has to work at night. Some people work constantly at night, but there are also jobs where it can change from week to week. Keep in mind that this can be very difficult as you have to keep changing your rhythm. People who work constantly at night will get used to it, but changing shifts is especially difficult.


If you want to sleep before going to work, keep in mind that you do not sleep too long. Make sure you don’t sleep too deeply or you will be too sleepy when you go to work. What can help is to sleep on a couch instead of a bed, with the light on and some music playing. It is often more difficult to get into deep sleep as you still hear sounds and may not be as comfortable as in bed.

To eat

Hot food and large meals generally make people sleepy and drowsy. It is therefore wise not to eat a large hot meal for dinner. It is better to eat a sandwich and also take sandwiches and/or fruit with you.


It can be very difficult, especially when you start working the night shift for the first time. To stay alert, there are options to consume coffee and/or energy drinks. Both are not very healthy, but they will keep you awake. However, both are also addictive, so try to reduce it as quickly as possible. If you feel like you are about to fall asleep, it often helps to drink a sip of cold water or to wet your face a little.

Sleep more

After the night shift, it is best to have breakfast at home and then go to bed. If you have to work again the next night, try to sleep as long as possible in the morning. You may want to put in earplugs and a sleeping mask so that you are not woken up as quickly as others go to work in the morning.

Further tips

  • keep in mind that it is often much colder at night than during the day
  • When you feel sleep coming, go for a walk outside
  • maybe there are more people working, have a chat if you get sleepy

The advantages

If you work late at night, you will be home in the afternoon and you don’t have to worry about going to the shops before they close. You can also be home for the children in the afternoon, but make sure you get enough sleep so that you don’t have to get up early in the morning for the children, as this can really stress you out. Sometimes you also get paid more if you work at night.