If you work the night shift, then you truly understand how challenging it is to get a decent sleep when you come back after work. It is not just that your circadian rhythm has been completely thrown off balance, but also there is a lot of light and distractions and everything not needed for a good sleep. However, it is still possible to enjoy every bit of your daytime sleep if you know how to approach it the right way. Here are a few suggestions on how you can improve the quality of your sleep if you usually work night shifts:
Establish a regular sleeping schedule
A regular sleeping schedule is important for quality sleep, especially if you will be going against the natural sleep patterns. If possible, you should have the night shifts arranged in a manner that you will be able to get to bed on a regular time every day you are from work. In this way, your body will begin to adapt to the new pattern and though it will be during the day, you will find it relatively easy to get to bed and fall asleep faster as compared to when you have no regular time for going to bed.
Learn to block external noise
One of the disadvantages of sleeping during the day is that there is a lot of noise and distractions around. People are moving around the house, making all manner of noises and there is always a lot of noise coming from outside. Under such conditions, falling asleep and having a smooth sleep may be difficult unless you find a way of either ignoring the noise or stopping them from affecting you. Using earplugs is one of the simplest ways you can use to deal with such noise though there are other methods such as-:
- Using a white noise machine to cancel out the external noises
- Listening to soft calming music to induce you to sleep
- Sleeping in a place far from where there is too much traffic
- Asking family members around to keep quiet
- Putting your phone in sleep or silence mode
- Soundproofing your house
Know how to relax before going to bed during the day
Since there is a lot happening during the day, it is imperative to teach yourself how to completely relax immediately after work so that you may find it easy to fall asleep faster. The good thing is that when you come from a night shift, your mind and body will be tired, and you just need to do the bare minimum to fall asleep. If it was any other time, things such as working out would have been recommended, but this may tire you further. Just ensure that you don’t engage in any activity or take stimulants that may increase your metabolic rates. By now, your body should be slowly turning off so that you can get some sleep.
Avoid junk foods and eat healthy regular meals
Working night shifts will not just interfere with your sleep pattern, but also will have an effect on how you eat. Since you are interested in sleeping well after coming from work, what you eat and when you eat will be a great factor in whether or not you get the kind of sleep you want. This is because the foods you eat and when you eat them before going to bed will have an impact on your digestion, your energy levels and ultimately, the quality of your sleep. As far as food and sleep go, here are a few tips for night shift workers-:
- Avoid meals between midnight and 6 AM. This is because your body will struggle a lot to digest food during this time.
- Stick to healthy and various types of meals. In as much as you may be too tired to prepare decent meals, don’t go for junk foods either. The bad fats they contain will not just be detrimental to your health, but also will make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
- After the night shift, eat a very healthy breakfast before going to bed. This will prevent you from waking up due to hunger, thus compromising the quality of your sleep.
Get to bed as soon as you come from work
After a night shift, head homes straight and get to bed as soon as possible. If you have to take breakfast, then do it fast and get sleep. This is because the longer you stay out of bed, the more exposure you will have to natural light and this may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Additionally, due to the presence of natural light, consider blocking as much of it as possible from where you will be sleeping. If necessary, invest in a decent sleeping mask so that you can reduce the effects of natural light while you sleep.
Ensure the room is comfortable
Whether you sleep during the day or at night, the comfort of your room, especially your bed must always be good. Ensure that you have a decent mattress, just like those from top brands like Dreamcloud mattress, and there are no distractions in the room. Keep away all the electronics from your bedroom since they can easily distract you from falling asleep and getting quality sleep. With the phone present in the bedroom, for example, you may decide to check the social media, and before you realize it, you have lost three hours of sleep.
Plan a 30 40 minute nap during the night shift
Even day workers usually go for power naps to help them stay alert during the day and as a night shift worker, you also need to consider taking power naps of between thirty and forty minutes during your sleep. Working at night makes you more tired and it is easy to lose concentration and cause accidents or errors. If your employer understands the power of naps and they happen to be good people, they can arrange for you to have nap rooms where you can take shifts in recharging your batteries as you make the effort to keep your eyes open till the end of the shift.