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Night Shift without Coffee, Seriously

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Night shift without coffee, seriously??!!!

How is it possible to make it through a night shift without coffee? Click To Tweet How is it possible to get through a day shift for that matter without coffee? There is something about that point in toward the tail end of your day when you feel sluggish and tired. For those of you who work nights, you are likely to feel this drag at about 3 or 4 am.

white neon lit coffee cup outline, down pointing green neon arrow and the word coffee in neon red below the cup

Photo credit: Nick Fewings

What does grabbing your cup of piping hot joe do for you when you are dragging at work? Are you like me, consuming 1-2 cups to make it through that dreaded nadir?

About two months ago, I started a personal experiment.  The goal was to quit drinking coffee for wakefulness during the night shift.

Typical Night Shift

Here is the typical night shift in the Emergency Department for me. I get to work at 11 pm. First, there is turn over care rounds between the evening team and night team. Right around 12 am or 1 am, as long as there is not a patient that requires my immediate attention at the bedside, I drink my protein drink while charting and planning the care of the patients in the department.

A lot can happen during a night shift in the Emergency Department, and often we are serving patients at a steady clip all night long. However, on a typical night, there is usually a lull right around 4 am. This, unfortunately, coincides with the time of night when cortisol is released. In my blog post, Night Shift and Hormones, there is a lot more details about this phenomenon. So as a result, there is a bit more drag than what would be seen during a day shift during the late afternoon. Regardless of day or night, we all hit a nadir when we feel sluggish and sleepy. It is usually during this time that I would ordinarily reach for a cup or two of coffee.

Of course, drinking coffee at 4 am then again at 5 or 6 am, provided the wakefulness that is necessary but at a cost.

white large subway tiled wall with a brown ladder leaning against the wall; top of a white toilet, white towels fit neatly into a wire basket

Photo credit: Charles Deluvio

The Personal Cost

You see, coffee has a diuretic effect. Essentially that means that it makes you urinate. So in exchange for wakefulness, increased trips to the bathroom to urinate was the cost. This may not seem that bad on the surface. But when the shift is over and post night shift sleep ensues, frequent trips to the bathroom thwarts restful slumber. On top of that little wrinkle in what seems like a solid plan, drinking coffee too close to the end of a shift, led to restless sleep as well. Coffee was effective in perking up those last few hours of the night shift but for me, the personal cost was restless sleep and frequent interruptions to visit the lavatory.

Personal Experiment

So, how is a night shift without coffee even feasible?

That was my question. I was very doubtful that such a possibility existed. Then I came across a herbal blend that promised to supplant coffee as the boost needed late in the night shift.

Two months later, I get through the night shift without coffee and my post night shift sleep is restful and sans frequent trips to the bathroom. I started with a holistic health assessment and was surprised to read that the top item on the personalized supplement list was a herbal blend noted to promote wakefulness.

After using the holistic herb blend for a few night shifts, I was able to complete the night shift without coffee. Crazy, right?! Trust me, there was definitely some arm pinching going on over here to make sure I was not dreaming. Then, my mom who wakes very early every morning and typically starts her day with a cup of coffee tried the same experiment. She too no longer drinks coffee first thing in the morning to get her going. She instead has a cup of holistic herbal blend instead. You can reduce your dependence on coffee by transitioning to a wakeful herbal blend. The process is easy and starts with doing a simple holistic health assessment. Your assessment may have the wakefulness blend top your personalized assessment.

How It Worked

How did this experiment work? First, I started by substituting one cup of coffee with a hot cup of the herbal blend. Then I got creative and would add the herbal blend to my Greek yogurt and consume it that way. After about four night shifts, I noticed that I did not need the second cup of coffee. On the nights that I had the herbal blend (hot or in my yogurt), I was able to sleep when I got home. No problem. In addition, my sleep was particularly restful because there were no bathroom breaks (Yay!).

Now I do my night shift without coffee. There is a nice energy boost when I am dragging. The big bonus is restful sleep and no potty breaks.

Worked for Mom

My mother gets up well before dawn and grabs a cup of joe to get her day going. At 4:30 or 5 am she rises and brews her first cup. She started her personal experiment substituting the hot herbal blend for coffee. After about a week of doing this, she was able to stop drinking coffee. Now she drinks coffee for pleasure and on occasion but not for wakefulness.  This is amazing to me because for decades coffee has been an integral part of the beginning of her day.

She did a health assessment and the herbal blend was in her top recommended items.

Take the Holistic Health Assessment

Are you looking for a way to quit drinking coffee? The herbal blend will accomplish that for you. There may be a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. Take a few minutes to take the Holistic Health Assessment and let’s chat about what blends will benefit you most.

Be strong. Be brave. Unleash your greatness!

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Charmaine Gregory

I am a nocturnist Emergency Physician, wife, mom to three vivacious cherubs as well as a greatness and virtual fitness coach. I help busy women like myself reclaim their fitness and wellness mojo and unleash their greatness! Watch my story and get a complimentary health assessment here: My Story If you are like me and have picky eaters in your fold, join my Facebook group, Picky Eaters Strong Mom here: Picky Eater Strong Mom Facebook Group

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