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Working the standard 9-5 might be on the agenda for most people, but if you are a night shift worker and your patterns are the complete opposite to the daytime workers, it can be difficult to get the right amount and quality of sleep to function at your peak.

We understand this, and if you’ve got yourself a new job and you’re fresh to the night shift scene, you might be wondering what you can do to make the transition easier and more streamlined, because the last thing you want is to be overcoming hurdles with sleep and feeling like a zombie at work. 

The most important thing to do is to be prepped. If you have preparation in your corner then all the other aspects of day-to-day, or in this case, night-to-night life becomes easier.

Here are some really friendly tips for night shift workers on how you can be as prepared as possible and get the sleep you want and need.

Prep Your Bedroom

Your bedroom environment should be primed for optimum sleep. Make it a slumber sanctuary! This space needs to be a place that your mind instantly associates with sleep; not work, ironing, eating, etc.

As you’re a night shift worker, you want to be able to keep the daylight from entering the room or you might find it harder to drift off. If you don’t have them already, consider putting up some blackout curtains or blinds that will make the room as sleep-inducing as possible.

Ideally, you want to make your bed the comfiest, most-alluring place you can possibly think to be in. You can achieve this by having the correct kind of bed sheets, pillows, the best mattress for your sleeping style and also have as few distractions as you can in the room too. Have you thought about using apps that help induce sleep? These can be useful to assist as a potent sleep aid.

Prep Your Body and Brain with Exercise

Aim to have a regular, consistent amount of exercise in your life and it will help you relieve any stresses that your life and job bring. Sleep is a proven method for supporting high-quality sleep, so it’s well worth having it in your armoury.

Also, once you’ve been working out for 4-6 weeks, your fitness levels are going to be heightened. This will help with your stamina at work, providing you eat the right things to sustain a healthy lifestyle. 

You’ll soon adopt a positive cycle that promotes healthy physical and mental outcomes, making work easier as you’ll have more energy, while you’ll then find it easier to go to sleep; and all you have to do is get at least half an hour of exercise in a day!

Prep Yourself with Your Diet

We touched on the importance of diet in the last point, and it certainly plays a major role in effective sleep. Establish a healthy, clean, balanced diet and you can expect your quality of sleep to raise too. 

Once your night shift is over with, avoid nipping through the drive-thru because those fast foods contain lots of sugars and saturated fats that will prevent you from resting properly.

When you do get home and you’re winding down to get into bed, it’s important to swerve foods that are going to stimulate your brain (see above). You’ll most certainly want to avoid anything that contains caffeine as well as this will do anything but help you to sleep!

Don’t eat massive meals either. Go for smaller portions that will be easier for your body to digest or it’ll be working overtime when you want to bed down, and that’s not good.

Prep Yourself with Your Sleep Routine

When you first began doing shift work, you probably felt slightly out of sorts with your mind and body adjusting to these unfamiliar patterns in your life. This is why it’s very important to have an established sleep routine sorted. It acts as a strong foundation towards achieving a high standard of sleep which will go on to help you remain focused and alert while you’re in the workplace.

Factoring in triggering tasks that you can adapt to help you prep before your night shift while you’re awake during the day are:

·      Enjoying a warm bath/shower

·      Dimming down your lights

·      Brushing your teeth

It’s these types of activities that give off that trigger response in the brain to begin the winding down process. This is going to prepare you for bedtime more efficiently and help promote a better mind and body state for sleep and work.

Your routine should start roughly an hour before you go to bed in order for your mind and body to settle, then, before you know it, you’ll be rested and rejuvenated to tackle the night shifts!

Struggling with Night Shift? Tips to Get Some Sleep While the World is Wide Awake
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