The Benefits of Family Time Are Especially Important for Nightshift Nurses

July 11, 2023

Jamal Ali


Photo of two children playing a game

It’s not unique to the healthcare profession that family time can unfortunately get put aside, but nightshift nurses are especially vulnerable to burnout. Working at night means often missing out on moments when family and friends would otherwise relax and bond as a group. The good news is that we can still be intentional with our nights off and use them to meaningfully connect with our loved ones and recharge. The right activity might be even more beneficial than you realize!

Benefits for Children

For little ones, fun activities like game nights have been found to build motor skills, socialization and overall development. Children also develop problem-solving skills, acuity in math and science, and understanding of structure and rules. If started at a young age, parents have found that family bonding nights continue well beyond childhood into adolescence and adulthood.

Benefits for Partners

Even if you don’t have kids, a family night can be just as beneficial for your significant other, parent or even roommate. The same structure and teambuilding that benefits children can be fostered with romantic partners to build closeness and meaning. It’s important to keep open lines of communication in relationships that matter to you and ensuring that some time is set aside regularly can help make that happen. Not only that, but the institution of date nights have been shown to help relationships last longer and keep couples happy.

Benefits for Friends

While many of the previously stated benefits focus on the immediate family, it’s important to look outside of your circle to build connections of your own. Find people you trust and care for, and work with them to create time for connection. This can look like a standing date for bowling, video games or trivia nights with friends. If you have pets, set aside time for the dog park or other events to connect with people. Even connecting with friends virtually through a Zoom call can be the answer for destressing and relaxation.

Benefits for You

Spending time with family and friends can help reduce stress and anxiety and grant an overall healthier and longer life. Letting your work schedule control you is not conducive to a sustainable work-life balance. Who and what bring you joy after a long day of work? What would most benefit you in waking up for your job with a smile on your face? Whatever the answer is, make sure you set that time to build strong relationships that fulfill and bring joy to everyone.

Whether you want to work the night shift, day shift or even in a clinic, learn more about our variety of nursing programs offered at American College of Education here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Jamal Ali
Jamal Ali, MSN

Jamal is a Registered Nurse and the director of healthcare services for Briarwood Home Health and Interim Hospice. He is pursuing his master's in nursing from ACE, with a focus in nursing administration.

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