If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255

Story #8: “I feel like I need tobacco to stay alert on duty.”

Story #8: I work 12-hour night shifts and it’s so hard to stay awake the entire time. I used to use smokeless tobacco, but gave that up because my teeth and gums were starting to look bad. Are there other ways I can stay alert without going back to smokeless tobacco?

Plan:

  • Remember, sleep is important. Try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep before your shift. If you are unable to get this much, try different sleep tactics (like taking a nap when you can).
  • Strive for quality sleep. Before a night shift, use a sleeping eye mask or blackout curtains to keep the light out. You can also try to minimize noises and other distractions when sleeping. Quality sleep can make all the difference.
  • Keep all five senses active. During your shift, help your brain stay alert to its surroundings. Depending on where you are, you can:
    • Talk with a buddy
    • Stretch
    • Sharpen your mind with a puzzle
    • Drink water
    • Suck on a mint
  • Create a healthy morning routine. Stay energized throughout your day by drinking lemon water when you wake up and getting in a quick workout to get your blood pumping.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255