Here's the deal:
You have a graveyard shift coming up - it sucks, but sometimes you have to get sh*t done.
Don't worry, we get it. Getting sh*t done is the Early Bird mantra.
That's why we created Early Bird. In this post, we're going over the best energy drink for the night shift, and some tips to help you not only survive but thrive as well.
Let's dive in:
Night Shift Energy Tips
The graveyard shift isn't ideal, but sometimes you have to get shit done.
Here are some awesome tips for staying awake/alert during the night shift, according to Nursing Times:
Take a nap before your night shift begins if possible - a bit of rest will keep energy high.
90 minutes is the ideal nap length, as that's the time it takes for your body to complete a full sleep cycle.
There are different stages of sleep (i.e. light sleep, REM, etc.) and your body needs to reach its deepest state of sleep (REM) to repair itself. Sleep any less or any more and you won't wake up at the ideal time.
Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle can sometimes do more harm than good, especially if you hit snooze every 5-10 minutes. Your body is just beginning to actually sleep at the 10-15 minute mark, but waking yourself up over and over again will only make you groggy and tired. It's counterproductive!
Waking up from a 90-minute nap before the night shift is one of the best ways to start your shift feeling refreshed and full of energy, second only to a great night's sleep in the first place.
Eat throughout the shift
Eating small portions throughout your shift is a better option than eating a huge meal right before your 12-hour graveyard sentence. Rather, pack and eat healthy snacks throughout the shift.
A huge meal upfront will give you a sudden boost in energy followed by a crash, especially towards the end of your shift when you're hungry once again and tired.
Eating small, healthy snacks throughout the shift will keep your energy levels somewhat consistent throughout the night. Additionally, a change in your sleep pattern can affect your digestive system, making it harder to adequately digest large meals when compared to lighter snacks.
Don't plant yourself in a chair when you have a break - that's a recipe for disaster. You'll likely fall asleep or at least feel groggy, which will affect the rest of your night.
Plus, I don't think your coworkers will appreciate you dozing off on the job. Walking around, stretching, and even exercising will keep your blood pumping and your mind wide awake.
This one's my favorite considering I'm an extraverted blabbermouth who loves to talk and never shuts up.
Engaging in conversation with coworkers will stop you from falling asleep on the job and will keep your mind sharp.
If they're more experienced than you with the night shift, they might be able to help you out as well with some sound advice to make it through the night.
Watch your caffeine
Drinking coffee or a caffeinated energy drink before the shift will keep you focused, awake, and alert.
But don't drink too much caffeine - if any at all - later in your shift. Caffeine's half-life is about five hours, though it can take up to ten hours for your body to process all of it.
Caffeine in your system late at night will definitely mess with your sleep. Even if you can manage to fall asleep with caffeine in your system, your sleep quality will probably suffer as opposed to sleeping without any caffeine in your body.
And if you have another night shift, you'll feel even worse starting the next shift than you did the night before.
When I started working out with my friends we hit the gym all the time (too much) and it was often late at night.
The first time I had pre-workout, it was loaded with caffeine and I got the jitters like crazy. Needless to say, I was pumping iron all night, but that's not the point of the story.
Upon my return home I started feeling a bit sick and wanted to sleep, but I couldn't sleep for hours likely because of the pre-workout caffeine content. If you've ever been unable to sleep for hours, tossing and turning in your bed, you can probably relate.
But it was worse than that because I was sick and wanted nothing more than to rest up, but couldn't. I've not been a huge fan of pre-workout after that.
What's the bottom line here?
If you're going to have caffeine early during your shift, that's fine - but avoid late caffeine intake at all costs.
How to Have More Energy Working the Night Shift
Working the night shift can cause some sleep disorders according to WebMD, but there are things you can do to avoid those issues.
For one, do your best to avoid working several night shifts back to back, as you may become increasingly sleep-deprived after the effects of multiple night shifts in a row compound. Long drives to your job may also become problematic, as they take time away from sleeping.
Make sure your workspace is well lit to encourage alertness. Bright lights in your workplace will trick your body/circadian rhythm into thinking it's daytime. Otherwise, you'll likely start to doze off on the job.
Once you are home, use blackout curtains to keep your room pitch black during the day. Even if your eyes are closed, sunlight will tell your body it's time to wake up, which is bad for you when your body wants nothing more than a good night's sleep.
What Should You Drink During the Night Shift?
Bring a bottle of water with you to work and drink plenty to prevent dehydration. Water will help you not only stay alert and focused but also helps to prevent dozing off halfway through.
Sugary soft drinks, alcohol, and typical energy drinks like Red Bull will dehydrate you and should be avoided before, during, and after work.
Drinking a cup of coffee or a healthier energy drink without all the sugar (like Early Bird) is okay, but you shouldn't be pounding coffee throughout your shift, or you'll have a hard time sleeping when your shift is over. Plus, caffeine isn't a substitute for a healthy diet and plenty of water.
Low sodium, 100% fruit/vegetable juices are also okay, but make sure they're unsweetened. Sugary fruit juices are not far from soft drinks like Coke when it comes to your health.
Best Energy Supplement for Night Shift Workers
Early Bird is the best energy drink for night shift workers, hands down. Early Bird is healthy, sugar-free, non-carbonated and designed to help you get shit done all day (or night) long without the crash. Best of all, it's actually cheaper per-serving than traditional coffee/energy drinks because it comes as a powder you mix with water.
Long story short, Early Bird has the benefits of an energy drink without the sugar, chemicals, and other crap that dehydrates you/makes you crash.
For example, Early Bird uses PurCaf & Infinergy, natural, patented caffeine from green coffee beans that gives your brain a jumpstart, without the crash. The traditional brown coffee beans you're used to are actually green coffee beans after they've been roasted.
According to Ora:
"Coffee beans are roasted to produce the coffee bean that we use for our daily latte. The roasting process alters the bean’s taste, aroma, and color. It also alters the bean’s chemical structure and nutrient concentration. This means that the health benefits associated with drinking coffee and consuming green coffee bean extract, are quite different."
There are actually a ton of health benefits associated with green coffee beans that you wouldn't find in normal caffeine from traditionally roasted coffee beans.
Additionally, Early Bird has L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves that promotes intense focus, so you can concentrate during the entire night shift. It also has GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps your brain cells better communicate (clearing your head and promoting focus/concentration during the night shift).
Neurofactor is another ingredient in Early Bird, a patented form of coffee-berry that increases BDNF levels (providing elevated focus and mood).
Further still, Early Bird has Ashwagandha (KSM-66), which is shown to combat that annoying brain fog you get when trying to work the night shift for hours on end.
As you can see, Early Bird was designed from the ground up to give you tons of energy throughout your night shift without the crash - and it has a ton of natural ingredients too that are specifically included to boost focus, concentration, and mood. It even hydrates you, unlike other drinks that strip water from your cells.
There are a ton of other reasons why you should become a member of Club Early Bird that we talk about on our founding story page.