Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Coping Strategies


The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends the following coping strategies for shift workers affected by fatigue:
keep a regular eating schedule;
establish a routine that is appropriate for the shift you are on: in this way, you can control your body’s internal clock;
maintain a balanced and nutritious diet;
avoid a high-protein, high-fat meal before going to bed;
limit intake of stimulants, e.g. caffeine, sugar;
set aside at least one meal or activity per day with family or friends to avoid social isolation;
maintain the same sleep, work and leisure time sequence on days off, regardless of the shift worked;
sleep in a completely darkened room; and
practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress.