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. Why Is a Sleep Schedule Important? Working on the night shift can be hard on your body, especially if you aren't a natural night owl. Most sleep advice caters to those who hold nine-to-five jobs, but what if you work the night shift, as 22 million Americans do? Heavy, high carbohydrate meals are a sleep pill waiting to happen for night shift workers. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Invest in a light-therapy box. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects as many as 35% of adults. Mapping out your sleep plan will help you find potential flaws in your well-intentioned ideas. Make sure significant others, children, roommates, and anyone else sharing your roof understands the importance of your designated sleep time. This clearly presents challenges with people who sleep during the day and work at night, but studies have found this is … Start by setting your alarm for the same time every afternoon or evening, and going to bed at the same time each morning when you get home. It impacts your sleep cycle greatly and could play tricks on your mind when trying to sleep during the day. Don't allow yourself to go back and sleep more. The key is getting enough sleep every 24 hours. start time? Napping is also helpful for night shift workers as it can improve alertness while on the job. You may also want to take a nap during the night shift "lunch hour." Traumatic experiences can trigger a number of unwanted symptoms, including scary dreams. Shift work disorder not only causes cognitive impairments and physical complications but also affects occupational performance and makes workers more prone to errors and accidents. If you are having trouble adapting to the new bedtime hours after a month or two, talk with your physician about other ways to get the sleep you need, no matter what your schedule. Working at night or irregular shifts can keep you from getting the regular snooze time that most daytime workers take for granted. 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. Focus on keeping to the same sleep schedule daily—even on days off—and taking naps prior to work. 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. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Try taking a 90-minute nap before heading into work. Rather than immediately going to bed, some shift workers prefer to stay up for a few hours after arriving home as one might do after a day at work on a traditional 9-5 schedule. These schedules may consist of fixed hours, rotating or split shifts, or irregular work times. Avoid extended work hours. 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. 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. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. If you work at night or often rotate shifts, you may share that risk. A nap of about 90 minutes seems to be best. • Determine what hours (7-8 hours) you are going to sleep. If you delay sleep after the night shift, your body will begin to warm up and prepare for the day’s activity. These cookies do not store any personal information. However, that’s not very realistic. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of daily sleep for most adults between the ages of 18 and 64, and seven to eight hours of sleep for most adults 65 and older. This certainly isn’t the 8 hours that’s recommended, but it’s 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and it works well for me. Lhasa, Tibet. Then go to bed at that time. These cities are high on many, Understanding the Connection Between PTSD and Nightmares. When you work a schedule that demands that you work a night shift, it is no easy task. For many, adopting a consistent sleep schedule and creating a bedroom environment conducive to rest can have a huge impact. Sleep as long as you can. 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. How to build your sleep schedule. Anything after 9pm is going to cause you major disruption. It is a good idea to take a nap just before reporting for a night shift. Nontraditional job hours require special sleep considerations. Sometimes 4 pm if I'm really lucky. 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. This will help you get enough rest and avoid sudden changes. The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Decrease the number of night shifts worked in a row. Rather than make the switch in sleep routine suddenly, it may be easier to take two weeks and move your sleep/wake time forward or back in 15-minute increments each day until you reach your desired schedule. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Learn how to take back control. What do firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, factory workers, and office cleaning staff have in common? Obviously, this can be difficult to accomplish. Finding the right system for you may require some trial and error. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/flex2.nr0.htm, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/night-owls-and-early-birds.htm, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189699/, https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving, https://www.uclahealth.org/sleepcenter/coping-with-shift-work, https://www.nsc.org/Portals/0/Documents/Fatigue%20Documents/Fact-Sheets/Shiftwork.pdf, Link Between Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease, How Does Daylight Savings Time Affect Your Circadian Rhythm, Hairdressers, fitness trainers, and other personal care professionals, Police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, Transportation, warehouse, and manufacturing plant workers. 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. Permanent night shift workers should stay on a night shift sleeping schedule as it provides consistency for your body clock. Good sleep is a big deal for night shift workers. Caffeine has an average half-life of four to six hours, so it could affect your ability to sleep later. Chronically short sleep time is associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. 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. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Cusco, Peru. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. For others, a split-nap schedule is more effective. We want to help make things a little bit easier on you. “Wear sunglasses in the afternoon and early evening to naturally [make yourself … So, to help you deal with and avoid SWSD, here are some of the most effective and best sleep aids you can use. If you work rotating shifts, ask your manager to schedule succeeding shifts so that … Go to work or do whatever you have to do until your next scheduled bedtime. 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. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. They may be able to adjust your shifts or rotations and provide a schedule that is better for your sleep schedule. This can make you more productive and more satisfied. Working on the job cookies may have an effect on your website sleep plan help! 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