Other Sleep Tips for Night Shift Workers Notify your friends and family of your working hours so that they do not disturb you when you’re trying to sleep. Before going to bed, consider a hot shower or bath, meditation, or another relaxing activity. Try taking a 90-minute nap before heading into work. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Over time these employees may develop shift work disorder, a condition characterized by insomnia symptoms when they attempt to sleep and excessive tiredness while they are at work. Sleep consistency is key for many employees working night shift schedules. So, to help you deal with and avoid SWSD, here are some of the most effective and best sleep aids you can use. Let’s say you are currently working a day shift and planning to rotate to a night shift the following week. Work clockwise. For many, adopting a consistent sleep schedule and creating a bedroom environment conducive to rest can have a huge impact. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 16% of full-time salary and wage workers in the U.S. worked non-daytime shifts in 2017 and 2018. You may also want to take a nap during the night shift "lunch hour." Between shifts I sleep from about 0700-1300. This strategy involves drinking a cup of coffee and then taking a nap that lasts 15-20 minutes. It will help reset your body clock and keep you alert. When you work a schedule that demands that you work a night shift, it is no easy task. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Some shift workers take melatonin supplements to fall asleep during the day, but you should consult with your doctor or another licensed physician before taking melatonin because it can have an impact on your sleep-wake rhythms. It impacts your sleep cycle greatly and could play tricks on your mind when trying to sleep during the day. Eat small. Getting a good night’s rest and feeling alert upon waking is essential for any shift worker, regardless of their specific profession. Chasing enough sleep is a pursuit that keeps so many of us awake at night—and in the case of night shift workers, during the day, too. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. It will also improve alertness and overall health for people who work during the middle of the night, which is important for the obvious reason (you need to feel awake to perform at your job) but also because it can reduces the odds of work-related injuries, which are more common when you are tired. How to build your sleep schedule. Caffeine has an average half-life of four to six hours, so it could affect your ability to sleep later. Nontraditional job hours require special sleep considerations. It is also difficult due to having a flipped schedule than your family, friends, and loved ones. Working at night or irregular shifts can keep you from getting the regular snooze time that most daytime workers take for granted. Your email address will only be used to receive SleepFoundation.org newsletters. What do firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, factory workers, and office cleaning staff have in common? It's best if sleep schedules are not be changed by more than one hour counterclockwise or three hours clockwise from one night to the other. For some shift workers, the “coffee nap” can be effective. • Sleep as soon as possible after the night shift. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Don't allow yourself to go back and sleep more. In particular, night shifts that begin after midnight may allow workers to get more sleep and experience less fatigue than shifts that start between 8 p.m. and midnight. Less Exercise- Night shift workers generally exercise less than day-shift workers because when they wake up in the evening before work the gym is closed and it’s too dark outside to go jogging or go for a walk. Common occupations that require shift work include: Shift work can be demanding when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, especially for those who work night, early morning, or rotating shifts. These must be the same hours every day through the work week. “Shifts of equal duration differ in how fatiguing they are depending on the time of day when they are scheduled,” said Bowen. This certainly isn’t the 8 hours that’s recommended, but it’s 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and it works well for me. Even though you are working nontraditional hours, your goal is still to achieve the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep once you get home. After I’ve worked a night and have the next night off, I sleep from 0800-1200, drink some coffee and get ready for the day. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. For others, a split-nap schedule is more effective. Even driving home from work can be risky for a night shift worker if you are drowsy behind the wheel. Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) is a type of sleep disorder that usually occurs in people who work between 10pm – 6am. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Although a lot of night shift workers complain how it’s impossible for them to sleep a 7 to 9 full hours, having rest for at least 6 hours might be enough. Environmental and Lifestyle Changes for Better Sleep, For those on a quest to fall asleep—and stay asleep—at night, sometimes small adjustments to your daily routine can make a big difference. Good sleep is a big deal for night shift workers. If it is your last shift in a block of night shifts, remember that the more days in a row that you have been working through the night, the more sleep debt you will likely have accrued. 3–4 A.M.: Eat dinner. Night shift … Progressively push your meals later each night, until you get to the … Rotating shifts vary by workplace, but some of the most common rotating schedules for employees include the following: Shift workers with rotating schedules should prepare for shift changes by adjusting their sleep times. Overall, those who work night or rotating shifts seem to have a high… Watch your diet. Avoid alcohol. A nap of about 90 minutes seems to be best. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Perfect your sleep hygiene. However you may visit Cookie Settings to provide a controlled consent. We want to help make things a little bit easier on you. When your shift is over, take another short 15-minute nap before driving home to help re-energize your body and mind, making the commute safer. 08 June, 2012. A nap of 10-20 minutes 6 is considered ideal because you won’t enter deep sleep and feel excessively groggy when it’s time to wake up. 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