Top 10 evidence-based countermeasures for night shift workers

Emerg Med J. 2020 Sep;37(9):562-564. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2019-209134. Epub 2020 Apr 24.


Emergency edicine providers are responsible for ensuring the emergency department is staffed 24 hours a day. As such, providers must efficiently transition between day, swing and night shift on an almost weekly basis. There is no formal education in medical school or residency on how to approach the transition to and from night shift, remain alert and productive and maximise sleep during the day. There are a multitude of blogs and online sources discussing night shift, but few, if any, provide an evidence-based approach. This article will provide the top 10 evidence-based recommendations to increase sleep, maximise performance, decrease fatigue on shift and improve quality of life outside the workplace.

Keywords: education; efficiency; interpersonal.

MeSH terms

  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Eating
  • Efficiency
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Fatigue / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Male
  • Melatonin / administration & dosage
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep Deprivation / prevention & control*
  • Temperature
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*


  • Caffeine
  • Melatonin