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Tips On Working Graveyard Shift Without Falling Asleep

Updated on January 30, 2014

Working graveyard shift means working late at night, even until morning. The biggest challenge in working such shifts lies in staying awake through that period. Even for the ones who are late sleepers, staying awake at that hour of the night is not at all easy. There are a number of tactics you can use to ward off the sleep while working. Given below are some of the ways to help you learn how to stay awake working third shift, or otherwise known as the night shift. These night shift sleep tips will help you make it through, especially for those of you who prefer going to bed at 9pm vs. morning.

Tips on working graveyard shift

Get your sleep beforehand that day

There is a particular amount of sleep your body needs everyday. When you don’t provide the body with that sleep, you become groggy and tired. If you want to stay awake in the graveyard shift, then you must make up on the lost sleep beforehand. Sleep for a few hours before your start working at your shift. This will not only give your brain the requisite rest, thereby warding off the sleep later in the night, but will also keep you mentally alert.

Walk around more often

The key to working graveyard shift is to not let the body get into the static mode of sitting for a long time or standing too long. This makes the sleeping instinct kick in. So, in case you are getting a break between works, instead of choosing to sit, walk around. Walking will help your body to remain active thereby helping you fight sleep.

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Night shift sleep tips - Drinks and Energy Method

Get “energizing” drinks

The work culture today is such that many have to work the graveyard shift a number of times. In such circumstances, you can opt for various energy drinks that give you an energy boost as well as enhance the mental alertness. There are drinks such as Redbull, 5-Hour Energy, Alternatively, you can also opt for the traditional coffee. Caffeine has been an all time favorite stimulant when the need arises to stay awake. Drink a good amount of coffee and it will work at keeping away your sleep.

Listen to fast music

Now, this is subject to personal preferences. If you are the type who tends to fall asleep while listening to any kind of music, then this solution is not for you. But usually listening to peppy or loud music at the dead of night keeps you awake enough to get through working graveyard shift. Bring your mp3 player around and stay awake with the help of it in your shift.

How to stay awake working third shift - Surroundings

Keep your surroundings brightly lit

Darkness or semi darkness works like lullaby on sleep. So, if you plan to work the graveyard shift, make sure you at least keep the surroundings brightly lit. The light affects your biological clock by slowing it down and hence you are able to stay awake better at that time of the night.

Talk to someone

You have more chances of falling asleep if you are on your own. If you are at a workplace and feel sleep hitting you, then start talking to a coworker for a while. If you are working at home, call up someone and talk for sometime. Talking stimulates your brain and hence delays sleep.


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