Working the night shift is a sacrifice that many of our country’s most valued employees make on a regular basis. But just because doctors, nurses, policemen, firefighters and even custodial staffs all work more than their fair share of night hours doesn’t mean they necessarily have to love the lifestyle. In fact, working night shifts can create real-life, honest-to-goodness sleep disorders, and while that can’t totally be avoided there are a few things night shift workers can do to improve their quality of sleep. The following are a few tips for evening employees in search of a better night’s slumber:
Avoid Multiple Consecutive Night Shifts
The occasional night shift is the sort of thing a person can rebound from and ultimately return to a normal sleep schedule after an off night. Working multiple consecutive nights can lead to real sleep deprivation and start changing your sleep cycles, which is incredibly confusing for your body.
Avoid Rotating Shifts
In fact, the recommendation is to try and settle on either day shifts or night shifts so your body can get used to normal sleeping and wakeful times. Rotating shifts, where those sleeping times alternate dramatically, can wreak havoc on your sleep quality.
Avoid Long Commutes
Not only are long drives dangerous for sleep-deprived people, but they rob you of time that could be better spent in bed. Try to live close to your job or to find a job that is located close to your home. Either way, avoid the long commutes.
Make Sure the Sleep You Do Get is Quality Sleep
When the time does finally come to crawl into bed, it’s important the bed you have is comfortable and supportive so that your sleep is of the highest quality. If this is not the case with your current mattress set, we would be happy to help remedy that here at Ben’s.
Use Blackout Blinds and Heavy Curtains
Part of quality sleep means simulating darkness so your body can find its way to the proper REM cycles. Blackout blinds and heavy curtains keep the sunlight out so your body at least can be tricked into believing that nightfall has overtaken your bedroom. The darker it is, the more likely you’ll be able to fall into a deeper sleep.
Just because you are asleep all day doesn’t mean the rest of the world stops. If you have a family or significant other, they are going to be up and moving around, while businesses that are open may have a need to call you during their normal hours. Put your phone on silent and respectfully request that the people who you live with leave you alone so you can get the sleep you need.