How to Keep Up Your Energy Levels When You’re Working Long Shifts

Debra Riley


We all know that nurses can work long shifts. So, naturally, your energy is sure to dip during those lengthy hours. But you need to ensure that you stay sharp and focused, of course.

Discover practical strategies to keep your stamina up and stay productive. From effective nutrition tips to smart time management techniques, this guide covers it all.

Drawing from personal experience, we’ll explore proven methods to combat fatigue and boost your focus.

Read this comprehensive resource to unlock the secrets of sustaining high energy levels at work.

energy levels in long shifts

Hydrate, Then Hydrate Some More

Never underestimate the power of water—seriously. Staying hydrated is like giving your body the premium oil it needs to run smoothly. When you’re dehydrated, your energy levels can plummet faster than your patience on a double shift with no break.

Keep a water bottle handy and sip frequently. Water keeps everything in check: from your brain function (critical for those high-stress moments) to muscle performance (because wrestling with IV poles is no joke).

Snack Smart with Protein and Complex Carbs

Snacking smart is the secret sauce to maintaining your energy. When it’s crunch time, reach for snacks that pack a protein punch paired with complex carbs. Think peanut butter on whole-grain toast or Greek yogurt with a handful of berries.

This dynamic duo fuels you up without sending you crashing down like sugar-laden junk food can. The protein helps stabilize blood sugar while carbs give you a quick energy boost.

Cue Up the Caffeine – Strategically

Who doesn’t love a good coffee or energy drink? But here’s the kicker—it’s all about timing. Downing caffeine mindfully can give you that burst of alertness without messing with your sleep later on.

Enjoy your cup during the early part of your shift to kickstart your engine. Just try to cut off the caffeine flow at least six hours before you plan on catching those zees—we’re not trying to make sheep-counting an Olympic sport.

And hey, keep an eye on those sugary energy drinks; they can be sneaky culprits for a mid-shift crash and burn.

Take a Daily Multivitamin

Taking a daily multivitamin is like insurance for your body to help fill in any nutritional gaps because let’s be real, who has the time to count kale leaves or almond servings when you’re running around on shift?

A balanced multivitamin can ensure you’re getting those essential nutrients that keep your energy stable—think of it as your dietary backup plan.

Of course, before taking multivitamins, make sure to do your research on the best multivitamin supplements available by comparing different brands and vitamin combinations.

water and lemons for hydration

Prioritize Your Sleep

Alright, when it comes to keeping energized, clocking in quality zees is non-negotiable. 

On off days or between shifts, create a sleep haven free from screens and distractions. Make sure your bedroom is a cool, dark cave of comfort—we’re talking blackout curtains and possibly earplugs if you’ve got a snorer at home or live near what feels like a race track.

Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep to let your body and mind do their repair work.

Remember that sleep isn’t just downtime; it’s when all the behind-the-scenes magic happens to get you ready for another round of shift shenanigans.

multivitamin for energy

Embrace Mini Meditation Breaks

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Meditate? In the middle of my shift?” But hold up—mini-meditation sessions can be clutch for mental rejuvenation. You don’t need to go full Zen guru on a mountain; even just a few minutes of deep breathing in a supply closet can lower your stress levels and boost your focus.

Close your eyes, inhale the calm, exhale the chaos, and repeat.

These brief escapes help reset your brain amid the daily madness – keeping you sharp for when you’ve got to spring into action at a moment’s notice.