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NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Tell your family and friends what they can do to help

Your family and friends may not recognize what they can do to help you adapt to shift work or long work hours. These are possible topics to discuss with them.

  • They can learn the strategies discussed in the earlier modules to help you get enough quality sleep.
  • They can help you create a good sleep environment that is very dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable.
  • They can help you allow enough time for sleep and protect certain sleep times. For example, if you work permanent night shift, you may find it helpful to continue sleeping during the morning hours even on your days off to help your body adapt better to night work. As a result, during those hours you would not be available for childcare, errands, getting the children ready for school, etc. Also, after a long stretch of demanding work days, you may need to use the first day off to recover, so it is best to keep expectations and plans to a minimum for that day.
  • They can understand not to disturb you when you are sleeping.
  • They can protect you from noises as you sleep, especially in the daytime. Sleep during the day tends to be lighter than sleep at night, so noises can be more disturbing
Module:10, Page 4 of 19