It may feel as if there aren't enough hours in the day to do all of the above. Therefore, some students choose to work the graveyard shift in an attempt to carve out more time for their daily responsibilities.
Working nights as a student has its benefits, but it can also start to take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. That's why we've compiled some helpful tips and tricks to guide you through this often overwhelming situation.
4 Tips for Working Nights as a Student:
1. Make and Stick to a Sleep Strategy
When balancing working the night shift alongside all of the responsibilities of being a student, sleep is sometimes the first thing to fall to the wayside. However, skimping on sleep can have serious consequences, such as:
Increased risk of injury
It's important that you still get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each day. If you work nontraditional hours, you may have to take some time to train your body to sleep when it is used to being awake.
Here are a few specific tips:
Set your alarm for the same time every day—even on the days you have off. This will help shift your internal clock.
Invest in room-darkening curtains to trick your body into thinking it's night.
Take frequent naps, especially before and after shifts.
2. Communicate With Your Boss
Although talking to your boss about going back to school may feel daunting, it will help you in the long run.
Your boss can only make accommodations for situations they know about. Additionally, many employers actually encourage their workers to continue their education; they may even offer you a promotion once you finish your degree.
3. Give Time Blocking a Try
Time Blocking is a strategy for planning out your day in advance, and it can be extremely helpful for working students. The key idea in time blocking is to single-task instead of multi-task. Studies show that focusing on one task at a time can make you 80% more productive.
When making a template for your week, consider integrating the following tips:
Add buffers in between tasks
Schedule in breaks
Designate a day to get caught up
Let yourself make revisions when needed
4. Practice Self Care
Maintaining your mental and physical well-being is key to finding success while juggling the demands of school and work.
Make sure you’re hitting the recommended benchmark of 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Additionally, whenever fatigue starts to set in, reach for nutritious options. Overly caffeinated or sugary foods and beverages can lead to higher levels of fatigue later on.
How MedCerts Can Help
Working nights as a student is no simple task. At MedCerts, we're committed to providing student support in every way we can. For the duration of your program, you'll have access to enrollment help, learning assistance, mentorship, and 1-on-1 support. You can do this!