It’s true that people working night shifts could be at higher risk for health issues like diabetes, certain cancers, heart diseases, and obesity because of their reversed internal body clock, which is responsible for telling the body when to sleep and wake up.
And, coming up with ways to cope up with such irregular schedule is more difficult than those with a regular daytime work schedule. But, there are still ways not to lose sleep if you work the night shift. Below are tips on sleeping better for night shift workers.
Night shift workers are more prone to obesity and digestive problems. So, it’s recommended to avoid consuming processed and fatty foods and eat healthy instead. Doing so will prevent obesity and other issues that can disrupt a healthy sleep schedule.
It’s also a must to stay dehydrated to remain alert without disrupting your sleep after your shift. There are beverages you should and shouldn’t drink hours before bedtime to sleep better. Limit caffeine use especially later on your shift to avoid having trouble falling asleep when you reach home. Drink water, milk, bone broth, or tart cherry juice instead.
One huge mistake most night shifters do is switching their schedules on weekends, and then going back to sleeping daytime on work days. While it may be tempting to be awake during the day on weekends, it’s a big no-no. Doing so can interfere with your body’s internal clock that on Mondays, you’ll find yourself tired during your shift and alert when it’s time to sleep. To prevent this, you must be consistent with your sleep-wake schedule.
The bedroom environment can significantly impact the quality of sleep. While it’s a bit more difficult to sleep while the sun’s up and with all the daytime noise, you can still make your bedroom a sleep-friendly environment whatever the time of the day is.
- Cover your windows with blackout drapes or darkening shades to block out the daylight.
- Use dim lights an hour before going to bed to tell your brain to shift into sleep mode.
- Keep your bedroom clean, peaceful, relaxed, and free from any clutter.
- Keep your home cool, but not too cool that it makes you shiver. The most ideal bedroom temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees.
- Block daytime or any other noises by using earplugs or white noise machines.
- Surround yourself with soothing scents or scents you like to help you relax for bed.
- Make sure your mattresses, pillows, and sheets are comfortable enough. They should also match your personal preferences and typical sleeping position.
Just like when you’re working the day shift, it’s always beneficial if you get to relax and unwind before hitting the sack, especially when you’ve had a stressful day at work. Take one to two hours of time to slow down before going to sleep by relaxing in the tub, chatting with a loved one, listening to favorite songs, or watching a favorite show.
Follow the above tips to not lose sleep even when you’re working a night shift. May the zzzz’s be with you!
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