Due to the modern 24-hour society, many people work full-time night shifts, evening shifts, rotational shifts, or other such irregular and changing schedules. Even work hours have become long and sometimes inhumane. Shift work and long working hours have been linked to several health issues as well. These include an increased risk of physical problems, heart disease, gastric and digestive issues, weight gain, and cancer. The suppression of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating the internal body clock, also goes for a toss.
Individuals need to work through the night for various reasons, depending on the nature of work. Finding good ways to cope is the difference between living a healthy life and being on a close call with many health and safety risks that are attached to working night shifts. We will discuss here how to sleep better for night shift workers.
Why is quality sleep important?
Sleep plays an important role in your good health and well-being at every point in life. Getting enough quantity of sleep and quality sleep can help protect your psychological health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. The way you feel and function, while you are awake, depends on what happens while you are sleeping. During sleep, your body works to support healthy brain function and maintain and repair your physical health. In children and teenagers, sleep also helps in growth and development.
The harmful effects of sleep deprivation can occur in an instant, like accidents, or it can harm you over a long period. For example, ongoing sleep deprivation can increase your risk for some chronic health problems and sleep disorders. It also can affect your analytical and reasoning skills, reaction times, work-life, learning, and getting along with others. So, if you are asking yourself ‘how many hours of sleep do I need after a night shift’, the answer is the same as others- seven to nine hours.
Ways To Get Better Sleep After A Night Shift
Let us look at some better sleep tips for night shift workers.
Limit visitors after work hours
Your friends and family would understand if you tell them clearly that you are a night shift worker. Avoid meeting anyone right after your shift and consider getting your seven to nine hours of snooze time a priority. All the socializing can happen after or on weekends.
Avoid frequent rotational shifts
Talk to your manager and try to avoid rotational shifts, especially if your body is prone to illnesses. Rotational shifts not only mess with the body clock but also do not allow you to improve sleep quality at all.
Cut out Caffeine
Caffeine helps you keep awake and is a go-to drink for night shift workers. But if you keep asking yourself ‘why can’t I sleep after a night shift?’, the reason might lie in your choice of drink. Caffeine should be avoided at least 5-6 hours before your bedtime. In this case, maybe drink some coffee or tea when your shift starts, but stop drinking it afterward
Set a fixed sleep routine
Given that you avoid frequent rotational shifts, sticking to a consistent bedtime routine is the key to good sleep. No amount of tips for sleeping during the day for the night shift will help you if you do not maintain bedtime hygiene consistently.
Use blackout curtains to block sunlight
After your shift, to increase your melatonin levels and suppress your cortisol, you need to take extraordinary measures. Daytime sleeping can be tough because our bodies are not naturally used to this, and hence, fine-tuning it will make your body cope much better.
- Wear sunglasses while going back home after work. It will keep the lights away from your vision and help you to set the mood for sleeping.
- Reduce using your phone or any screen after you are done working. Keep all screens away while you are getting ready to sleep.
- Keep your bedroom dark to help you have a better sleep during the daytime. Not only dark, keep your bedroom uncluttered and ready for sleep before you leave for work. That way, you would not be wasting any time diving into bed.
You can use our Blackout Curtains to help you keep your bedroom dark, cool and noise-free. Our blackout curtains help to keep up to 99% of the light from outside away while you are trying to go to bed. It also helps reduce your AC bills by keeping the room cool and protected from UV rays.
Do not exercise before bed
If you are a night shift worker, Do not exercise after your shift. In this case, the preferable time to exercise is after you wake up from your daytime sleeping. But do keep some time for exercising because it will help you stay fit and help you sleep better in the day.
Stay away from screens
Keep away from screens right after you are done working, should you go straight to bed after a night shift and sleep well. Do not engage in watching TV or scrolling through social media if you want to get those mandatory snooze hours in.
Practicing meditation will help you to sleep better and have more control over your mind. You can practice meditation for sleep, or do it right after you wake up to focus on your day.
Exposure to light during work hours
Exposure to light triggers chemical events within the circadian clock that affects your sleep and wake cycles. For instance, melatonin is released because it gets dark in the evening that makes you drowsy, while melatonin is suppressed and cortisol elevated by the morning light to make you feel awake and fresh. Artificial light can also affect your circadian clock the same way as sunlight, and timed exposure to bright light can help to change your body’s sleep cycle. During night shifts, you will be able to try and trick your body into an alert state with exposure to bright light and promote sleep by suppressing light exposure after your shift.
Don't carry your work home
The last thing you need after a night shift work is to come back home and start working again. Limit your work to the shift and keep home for sleep and leisure.
Why are Livpure Sleep’s blackout curtains the perfect fit for you?
Livpure Sleep’s blackout curtains improve sleep quality by a lot. Wondering how? Well, The blackout curtains are designed to keep up to 99% of light outside your bedroom when the colors are dark, but even light shades of the curtain keep up to 95% of lights away. This can be beneficial for anyone to keep bright lights from the street away but especially helps daytime sleepers. It keeps the sunlight away from the bedroom and tells your body to go to sleep. It also keeps the room cool and keeps a certain amount of outside noise away. You do not have to worry about prying neighbors, it ensures complete privacy. Made from high-quality fabric, it is eco-friendly, sustainable, and machine washable. It will last you a long time, and Livpure Sleep assures that to you with a 1-year warranty on all blackout curtains. Beautify your bedroom with vibrant colors and have better sleep, even if you are a nightshift worker!
Good sleep is very important for night shift workers. Regular sleep deprivation only going to harm the body and mental health. It also makes it harder to think on the job. If you are following the sleep tips and still have trouble falling or staying asleep, or if you are not productive at work or feeling drowsy while driving, then it is time to see your doctor and seek help.