In this blog, we provide ways through which people who work night shifts can get good sleep and feel refreshed.
Night shift employees are more aware of this than most who take it for granted – sleep is vital to functioning like a normal human being. But when you’re sleeping at odd hours and awake when you’re meant to be in bed – it could spell bad things for your health.
If you’re a night shift employee, try going back to normal shifts when the opportunity presents itself. But if you are going to be working night shifts for the foreseeable future, you’re going to have to ensure that your body is prepared for it. You have to treat it like you would treat jet lag; something your body isn’t going to like but something you’ll have to adjust to.
Despite its complications, working night shifts does not mean that you can’t get good sleep. Here are five ways you should optimize sleep for night shifts:
Stick to a proper sleep routine
This is a tip that presents itself in every article about sleep has presented itself again! Sticking to a proper sleep schedule, trying your best to sleep at a specific time and wake up consistently at the same time is important for good sleep. This way, your body gets used to this schedule and would naturally start falling asleep when the time is right. So it’s important that you try your best to stick to a proper sleep routine.
Prepare an environment suitable for sleep.
Just because it’s day time when you’re going to bed doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re sleeping in the daytime. Invest in your sleep environment – get black-out curtains to make it feel like you’re sleeping at night. If your budget doesn’t allow for that, get a sleeping mask. If you need to, put on some earplugs as well. Quiet and darkness is what you need to make it feel like you’re going to sleep at night.
Reduce your commute
While the best option is being able to walk home to and from work, that option isn’t easily available to most of us. However, continuing your commute from home, especially if it’s an hour or so away from work can have negative health implications. If this is a long-term gig, why not take a look at the time, energy and transportation expenses you’ll save if you move closer to your office. Your aim should be being able to reach home as soon as you can – that way you can reduce the time it takes for you to go to bed.
Keep fit and healthy
While sleep schedules are difficult to manage, your overall health is something that you can certainly work on and take care of. Get your macros in at regular meal times and be sure to exercise at least three times a week. Another unconventional tip that goes against the norm is to sleep after you wake up. Don’t listen to your favourite productivity guru and go on a 5 am run when it’s time for you to go to bed.
Avoid caffeine during your shift
We understand that avoiding caffeine can be even more challenging than sticking to a sleep routine. But you’ll be glad to know we don’t really mean that you should stop having coffee altogether. What we recommend instead, if you need to, is only having some form of caffeine when you wake up. Avoiding coffee during your shift is difficult but what’s even harder to manage is the lack of sleep as a result of the caffeine’s hitting you. So, listen to the experts and stick to having coffee only in the morning.
Forming new sleeping habits is a tough task, especially when you have to follow a whack schedule, but imbibing them into your routine step by step makes it easier. We hope that these five tips help you optimize a good sleep routine for the night shifts.