Being a nurse can be an incredibly difficult yet rewarding profession. Nurses are credited for being instrumental in providing good care for patients in hospitals, nursing facilities, and more. There are many perks to this profession, one of them being that they can be very flexible. Nurses are needed seven days a week, 24 hours a day, so nurses can choose to work night shifts or weekends if that is better for their schedule. Nurses are also needed in all areas, so they can move to a desired location and likely find a nursing position wherever. Some nurses choose to be travel nurses, which is when they take short-term contracts in various parts of the country.
Travel nursing is a great opportunity for you to explore different parts of the country for shorter amounts of time. Most assignments are only a few months long, so if you don’t like where you are, you know you can move in just a few months. With constant moving and getting adjusted to new environments, you may find that getting quality sleep is difficult. There are a few things you can do to get high-quality sleep no matter where your travel nursing contract takes you.
Tips for getting high-quality sleep
1. Purchase Good Bedding
Your living accommodations while being a travel nurse may include fully-furnished homes, but you may want to be pickier with your bed than with your kitchen table. It can be advantageous to purchase your own travel mattress, pillows and sheets so you can have peace of mind knowing that your bedding is not only clean but comfortable. Different people like different types of bedding, but some mattress shopping tips are to have a budget in mind before you start shopping and test out a variety, so you are less likely to have to return it in the future. This is the same with pillows: know how much you are willing to spend on them and test out a few different kinds so that you are happy and comfortable when sleeping. You can also research different sheets and decide if you like cotton sheets, jersey sheets, or flannel sheets, among other options.
2. Maintain a Sleep Routine
One of the best things to do to get high-quality sleep, along with having a comfortable bed, is having a regular sleep schedule. This means that you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. This can be difficult when you have to wake up early for work every day and love sleeping in, but it can throw off your body’s routine and make you feel more tired and not sleep as well if you don’t abide somewhat by the schedule. It can also be difficult if you work the night shift, but if you can go to sleep and wake up within a few hours on days you are working or not working, it can help you sleep better throughout the week. It is also beneficial to try to keep your night shift work regular, meaning that you do not frequently change from working days to nights.
3. Take Care of Your Body
What you eat, drink and do during the day can have a big impact on your sleep. Trying to sleep when you are too hungry or too full can impact your sleep quality. Additionally, drinking caffeine or alcohol close to when you are going to sleep can negatively impact your sleep. Though you probably walk around and move a lot while working, engaging in physical activity on your days off is important too. While you probably work long days indoors, spending some time outside every day can help your body feel better as well. If you have any breaks during the day, consider spending 15-20 minutes outside. Taking good care of your body can not only help you perform better at work but also help you get high-quality sleep each and every night.