Top sleeping tips when working nightshifts
Did you know that 17% of all employees in the UK (around 4.1 million) work shifts? And that number is growing as demand for 24-hour services continues to rise.
A good night’s (or day for shift workers) sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But repeatedly changing your sleep schedule can make this task incredibly challenging. It’s not uncommon for night-shift workers to struggle sleeping when they’re going to bed as the sun’s coming up, and this can lead to health risks further down the line.
If night shift work is turning you into a zombie, follow our latest handy sleep tips and you’ll overcome your sleep-less schedule in no time.
Block out the sunlight
Sunlight puts you in the mood to get up and seize the day. Not a good idea if you’ve been working all night. So close the blinds, and turn off any bedroom lights and slip on you sleep mask.
Cut out the noise
Cars, salesman, the phone ringing… there are lots of noises, especially during the day, that can wake you from your slumber. Plan ahead and you can put a stop to almost all of these. Start by stopping people knocking on by putting a sign on your door to warn people you work nights. You should also consider unplugging the house phone and definitely invest in a pair of earplugs.
There’s a common misconception that alcohol helps you sleep. The truth is, it actually disrupts your regular sleep pattern. Alcohol puts you quickly into a deep sleep rather than through the first stages (called rapid eye movement). That means when the alcohol wears off you enter REM sleep, which is easy to wake up from and have your bedtime disrupted. So avoid an after work tipple as much as possible!
Stay awake during your shift
It’s easy to drop off when working night-shifts. But try your best to stay awake until you’re at home. Sleeping for short periods can be dangerous, especially if you work in a factory. What’s worse, if you’re always napping then your body can’t get used to your schedule and you’ll always feel groggy.
Don’t sleep on a full stomach
Eating a meal just before bedtime, especially a fatty one, leaves an incredibly big job for your digestive organs to do while you’re trying to get some shuteye. Before sleeping, you should be winding down from your hard day’s work, and that means you need to give your body a chance to relax as well.
You can also have a look at our top sleep tips for students during exams here.