Getting a good night’s rest regularly is one of the best things a travel nurse can do for their health and well-being as the body uses that precious sleep time to repair and restore itself.
Quality rest will helps the brain to function the way it should, allowing you to remain at the top of your game both on your travel job and off, so you can make the best decisions, resolve problems better and even cope better with all of those inevitable changes. It also helps to lower the risk of illness by keeping your immune system strong. But what do you do if you just can’t fall asleep, or stay asleep? That can be a big issue for travel nurses due to schedule changes and simply being in a different place.
These tips will help ensure that you get a better night’s sleep while you’re on that travel nursing assignment.
Bring Familiar Items With You
In most cases, your housing will be furnished, but you’ll still want to bring some of your personal items. Just having some familiar things around you can help you fall asleep easier, like a favorite pillow or blanket, a fan for white noise and so on.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
One of the best things you can do to ensure a good night’s sleep is to keep a consistent sleep schedule. That becomes even more important if you’re working the night shift. Create a schedule that you can stick to, and follow it even when you aren’t working, waking up and going to bed at the same time every day.
Limit or Avoid Caffeine and Choose Herbal Tea Instead
Some people are greatly affected by caffeine and need to avoid it altogether to for a better night’s rest, while others can simply limit their intake to the morning hours for it to not interfere with their sleep. Instead of turning to soda or coffee, choose caffeine-free herbal tea. There are even teas out there that will help you fall asleep faster, like Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepy Time Extra, you might want to try sipping just before bedtime.
Music to Calm Your Mind
Relaxing music not only helps you fall asleep, but it can improve the quality and length of your shuteye by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. In fact, an analysis of studies found that people who suffer from a chronic sleep order who used music at bedtime significantly improved the quality of their sleep. Think classic, like Mozart, Bach and Handel – it can even slow your brain waves and put you into a meditative mood, ideal for travel nurses who’ve had an especially hectic day.
Breathe in the Relaxing Aroma of Lavender
Lavender has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and to help those who are restless fall asleep faster. Using lavender essential oil as part of aromatherapy – added to an essential oil diffuser or to a tissue under your pillow, will promote relaxation and can even reduce your heart rate and blood pressure like music, to put you in a calmer state of mind.
Block Out All Light
Having a dark room is essential for quality rest, but it can be difficult to block out every single little light, and even those tiny blue or red lights on your electronic devices can disturb your sleep. An eye mask is cheap and it can significantly improve sleep for weary travel nurses. Total darkness helps to trigger the production of melatonin so that you’ll fall asleep faster, and stay asleep.
It’s also important to shut off gadgets like your cell phone and laptop 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed. The body needs time to wind down, and the bright light those emit don’t provide the chance to do that, which means it will take more time for you to fall asleep.