Anyone that has worked on a night shift knows how tough it can be. It can be boring and the night can feel like a week. Do you find yourself struggling to survive a hotel night shift? If so, then read on for some useful tips on combating fatigue and keeping your attention levels at their peak.
Avoid Drinking Too Much Caffeine
It's common to think working night shifts will require excessive amounts of caffeine, whether in the form of energy drinks or coffee. Typically, caffeine takes 30-45 minutes before you begin to experience the full effect and this can last for anywhere between 4-6 hours once taken, If you drink coffee throughout your shift, it can negatively affect your sleeping routine once you return home.
There's nothing wrong with having a couple of coffees or energy drinks at the beginning of your shift but you should avoid having any in the latter half. If you're really struggling to stay awake during your night shift without caffeine, you need to make sure you get plenty of sleep beforehand or consider speaking to your manager about asking for alternative shift patterns.
Stay Hydrated With Water
Whilst coffee can both dehydrate you and add unnecessary caffeine into your system, it's important you keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Having a bottle of water with you at all times is handy and will help deter you from returning to your trusty mug of coffee at every opportunity.
By frequently drinking water throughout your shift, it helps with:
Regular intakes of water allow you to feel less bloated/jaded after meals, helping you to keep on-the-go for longer (making that hotel night shift feel that little bit shorter!). Water will also help suppress your appetite. In a night shift, it's easy to snack on sweets and chocolate but by drinking plenty of water you won't be easily tempted by the vending machine or hotel shop.
2) Joint/Muscle Protection
This is vital for those who are predominantly sat down, such as receptionists or desk clerks, where cramps and locked joints are common due to lack of physical activity. By drinking water regularly, you will benefit your own health and help defend against long term complications such as arthritis.
With around 75% of the brain consisting of water, it's no surprise that you experience lapses in your concentration when you become dehydrated. By regularly topping up with water, it will allow you to ensure your duties are error-free and your brain stays energised. This helps reduce the chance of feeling groggy throughout the night shift.
Whilst this is beneficial for any role within the hotel, it's especially vital for those in Valet or Waiting Roles, where errors can result in loss of tips and poor customer service.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
On the flip side of staying hydrated, it's just as important to remain energised by eating right when you're on the late shift. Whilst it can be tempting to rely on quick pick-me-ups, such as crisps and chocolate, it can lead to mid-shift crashes where your productivity will suffer as your body is working tirelessly to break down these foods, as well as, fighting your fatigue.
As an alternative, plan your meals in advance and aim for foods that are slow in releasing energy such as salmon, brown rice, avocados or cooked chicken breast. These kinds of foods can be prepared days in advance so your fridge is stocked and you're ready for your night shift.
Organise a Routine
If you do hotel night shifts on a regular basis, then you need a routine in place to help you get through it.
With chefs working hours such as 10pm until 6am, it's important that great preparation has gone into looking after themselves as much as the preparation gone into the next day's food. If you're aware that you begin to feel drowsy at around 1am, it may be time for a break and a quick pick me up, such as a banana (packed with natural sugars) to raise your blood sugars.
Alternatively, you may choose to eat your 'lunch' later on in your shift so you begin to feel the fatigue on your way home, preparing you greatly for sleep and maximising the returns from your sleep cycle.
However, these routines are subject to the individual's personal needs, everyone has different requirements for their body clock when it comes to remaining focused so it's just a case of finding what's right for you.
Tip: Keep your routine consistent, it will allow your body to adapt quicker and minimise the effects of fatigue and hunger in the longer run.
As the night progresses, customer facing roles in the hotel will quiet down, leaving the temptation to sit down and rest. Whilst this can alleviate any short term unrest, it allows and signifies to your body that it can 'power-down'. So, it's important that you keep active during your shift.
If you have any tasks where you need to walk to other areas of the hotel, then you should schedule these throughout your shift so you're constantly up and about. On your breaks, have a walk around the hotel. This gives you the chance to make sure everything is okay in the building and to keep you active.
Dress for Comfort
While persistent standing and movement are great ways to remain focused whilst working the night shift, it's ever more important to have comfortable work shoes. When working in a hotel, it's important to wear the right shoes.
Wearing supportive slip resistant hotel shoes gives you the support and safety you need when working.
With plenty of styles available, foot pain and tired feet will no longer be an issue when you have to survive a hotel night shift.
If you're struggling for time, you can always download our free catalogue to see our latest styles