How to Cope with Sleep as A Night Shift Worker

Shift jobs can interfere with your sleep quality and quantity. Such as doctors, firefighters, nurses, air traffic controllers, and drivers. If you are working in any of these jobs. How do you cope with the varying sleeping hours? Working night shifts can be a challenge for both the mind and the body unless you find strategies that will help you cope and get better sleep. Also, not only those that work night shifts, but also those who work rotational shifts, evening shifts, and other schedules that irregular. All these links to some health issues, such as obesity, heart diseases, and certain cancers. So you need to find ways to cope, especially the strategies of working after dark. Here are some ways that you can cope with sleep as a shift worker.

Manage sleep patterns 

Although you can work at night without having fatigue and sleep deprivation. Others cannot and need to sleep through the night, but sometimes their jobs do not allow. Also, circadian rhythms are influenced by natural light and day cycles as they run for 24 hours. If you work at night your circadian rhythm will be altered, affecting how your sleep pattern works. So your shift work causes you to a battle between your natural rhythms, making you stay alert when you are to be sleeping. Therefore, when you are a shift worker, it involves you having to manage sleep during the day since you are working at night. So how do you make your bedroom better for sleep to keep your sleep-in check? Have something to eat to curb any hunger pangs, avoid taking any alcohol, and ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and has a comfortable temperature.

Take a nap 

To work safely overnight, it is best to take a nap. So before you start your shift, take a short nap as it will help to combat your fatigue. This will help you remain vigilant and also stay alert. Therefore, naps will help you a lot to cope with sleep as a night shift worker. When you take a one-hour nap during your break, it will help you feel fresh, and it will also restore your brainpower. If you are a shift worker, a short nap as 20 minutes in length, will help you counter fatigue and it is beneficial to you as well. However, if you are napping at night you should not exceed 45 minutes. This is because sleep is in cycles of different stages, and one cycle runs from light to deep sleep. So, you should check the time that you are napping so that you do not wake during deep sleep. Because waking up in deep sleep will make you feel less refreshed, and you take longer to be alert because this phase is associated with greater sleep inertia.

Control light exposure

Wear sunglasses on your way home to suppress light exposure. Since artificial light affects your circadian rhythm just as sunlight does. Do control light exposure to help alter your body’s sleep cycle. Also, be aware of the blue light from screens like tablets, television, smartphones before you sleep as they will make you stay awake. As a result, you will sleep for fewer hours. Other ways that you can control light exposure. Use blackout blinds, drapes, sleep masks to block daylight in your bedroom, avoiding watching TV, and check out helix mattress reviews to get a quality and comfortable mattress, among others. All in all, keep your bedroom dark to ensure that your body is in sleep mode.

Watch your diet 

When you plan your meals you can stay alert during your working hours and you can relax better when you have to sleep. When you take healthy snacks and foods to work, you not only stay alert but you prevent obesity. For this reason, stick to a pattern that is similar to what you would follow during the daytime, eat foods that are easy to digest, like fruits, vegetables, and salads. It is best to steer clear of sugary foods as they will only give you a short term energy dip. Finally, keep hydrated, especially since you are working to promote mental and physical performance. However, do not drink a lot of fluids before you go to sleep.

About the Author: Mike

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