NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours
- Before you leave work or are exposed to any sunlight (such as through atrium windows), put on a pair of blue-light-blocking sunglasses (wraparound style is best). Keep them on until you are in darkness in your bedroom at home. These glasses have a special coating to block the blue wavelength of light that signals your body to begin its circadian daytime.7 You can also use very dark sunglasses (see Smith and Eastman5). This may help you to sleep a bit longer in the afternoon.
- If you are very sleepy, do not drive. See Module 11 for suggestions for drowsy driving. Some suggestions if you are sleepy:
- Ask a family member, friend, or coworker to drive you home.
- Take caffeine then immediately take a short nap before the drive.
- Take a taxi or use public transportation. Some hospitals pay for a taxi ride home when their nurses are too sleepy to drive safely.
- Make car pool arrangements.
- Find a room to sleep in that is close to your workplace.
Page last reviewed: March 31, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health