Non-Traditional Hours: Sleep Suggestions for Shift Workers

If you work at non-traditional hours, you may be at risk for developing sleep disorders. This is because working at night alters your body’s internal clock, which then keeps you from getting the regular sleep time the body needs. Sleep deprivation is a common complaint of many shift workers. This affects not just your memory and concentration, but it can also make you feel irritable and stressed out.

Here’s how you can get a good sleep if you work against the clock:

Limit Coffee or Caffeine

It is okay to drink coffee at the start of your shift, especially if you need to be alert. Be sure, however, not to consume coffee and other caffeinated beverages later in your shift. This will only make it hard for you to fall asleep even when you need to.

Keep the Room Dark

Make your bedroom as dark as possible to encourage sleep. Note that sunlight causes you to stay alert, with the light coming into the bedroom fooling your brain that it is okay to be awake. Make sure to block the light using thick drapes or readymade roller blinds.

Block Out Noise

Silence is one factor that can help you sleep. A fan can mask external noise, but you can also use a white noise machine. Sound insulation on windows and doors also helps, as well as thick and heavy curtains. You can also wear earplugs to reduce the noise level.

Mind Your Diet

Poor diet and disruption of the body clock can make you prone to digestive problems. Be sure to plan your meals to keep you energised at work. Choose those that are easy to digest and avoid spicy and fatty foods. Drink water to boost performance, but avoid consuming too much before bedtime to prevent overloading of the bladder.

Promote healthy sleep by following the practices of good sleep hygiene. Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule even on weekends or your rest days. This is beneficial in helping your body understand when to rest or be alert.

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