Not only are you getting ready to head to a brand new job, you’re starting to work your first third shift ever. You may have been a bit apprehensive about working nights at first, but with the extra bump in pay, you decided it was worth giving it a try.

Preparing to work a third shift is a bit different than anything you have done previously, and can be a difficult adjustment at first. Increasing productivity and being successful in an overnight shift requires more than just flip-flopping your sleep schedule. Here are 5 tips to help you adjust:

Get in Those ZZZs
Sleeping when the sun is out and working when it’s dark can take a real toll on your sleep schedule. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Create an environment conducive to sleep during the day using blackout curtains and earplugs, and shutting off/putting away all electronic devices. If you can, start preparing a few days in advance.

H2O and Caffeine
Relying on caffeine to stay awake is horrible for your body, but while you get acclimated to the night shift a little caffeine boost might be a lifesaver in the early hours. While it will help keep you alert and focused when you begin your shift, drinking caffeine later on in your shift can make it difficult to fall asleep – we suggest not drinking any after 2:00am. Instead, drink water! Drinking water will help keep your energy levels up. We suggest keeping a water bottle at your workstation, if possible.

Take Breaks When Given
Just starting this new opportunity, you might be inclined to work through your breaks. It’s important to make a good impression at your new job, but it’s even more important to nurture your body so you have enough energy to last the entire shift.

Your Days Off
Be careful about your sleep/wake schedule on your days off. Try to stick to your regular sleep cycle, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, so your body doesn’t have to keep readjusting.

Give Your Body Time to Adjust
There is a good chance you’re going to be more tired during your first couple weeks on third shift. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new routine, and focus on changing your sleep patterns.

The key to surviving the night shift is just taking care of your body, and preparing to stay awake and alert all night. Need help finding a third shift job that’s the right fit for you? Connect with an ETS Recruiter now >> live chat us – just click the icon in the lower right.