People working the night shift poses a huge challenge for their sleeping system, because of the improper light exposure/ activity levels. The exposure to light sets our body temperature rhythm and controls our melatonin levels. If you work a night shift, you’re remaining active while your body thinks it’s time to sleep. This put a strain on your sleeping system, and it’s also difficult on your emotional life as it limits your social activities with friends and family.
And because of the lack of light during work, many night shift workers feels drowsy during work, some night shift workers even doze off when driving home in their cars. Highlighted below are some recommendations for you to get quality sleep and feel less drowsy during work.
Maintaining a regular sleeping schedule during the weekends is important. By sleeping the same way during the weekend that you do during the weekdays, you ensure that your body temperature rhythm becomes adjusted to this setting, you’ll get better sleep and higher energy levels in the long run.
2. Short nap
Due the lack of sunlight in your schedule, your body will try to sleep longer than other people. But chances are you still want to interact with your love ones during the day, so if you still feel un-rested and drowsy after your sleep, take a short 10-45 minute nap during the day. The brief period of stage 2 sleep will charge you physically -allowing you to stay more alert during the day.
3. Exercise before work
Exercise will create a rise in your body temperature rhythm, this makes you more awake and alert during work. As you experienced high temperature at work, you will get low temperature after work, that will make you easier to fall asleep and sleep deeply.
4. Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and Smoking Before Bed
Alcohol may help you to fall asleep, but it diminishes sleep quality and disturbs the deep stages of sleep, which will leave you feeling unrefreshed the next day. Also, Nicotine is a stimulant and can therefore cause you to experience difficulties in getting to sleep. Try to ease up on the caffeine half way to the end of your shift. Caffeine is a stimulant. When used carefully, your daily dose of coffee can help you to remain alert throughout a shift.
5. Make the Bedroom Quiet, Dark and a Comfortable Temperature
Use earplugs to block out daytime noise and blackout curtains to prevent daylight entering the room. Electric fans can be useful to keep air circulating and provide neutral background noise. Bright morning light is a major cue for your body that it’s rise and shine time and this will limit your sleep drastically. Some find it useful to sleep with an eye mask as well- to block out any unwanted light.
6. Sleep immediately
Do not delay going to bed. The longer you delay going to bed, the more awake you are likely to become. You might feel the urge to stay up and de-stress- but the more you do- the more awake you will be. When you come home from work- do what you need to do to settle in and sleep as soon as you can-if possible.
Shift work will always be strenuous on the sleeping system. However, by using the suggestions highlighted in this articles you should be able to increase the strength of your sleeping system, get better quality sleep and enjoy a higher level of energy.