Sleep-tember stress and working shifts advice for sleeping
9th September 2015
Everyone needs sleep on a daily basis, however for some people the times that they sleep or the period of time that they get to sleep may differ dramatically then the norm. This is particularly true for shift workers who may find themselves having to try and sleep in the daytime when our bodies are more attuned to sleeping at night.
Perhaps it is these unnatural sleeping patterns which mean that shift workers are more likely to suffer sleep deprivation and in turn more serious health and wellbeing issues.
But how can you sleep better if you are shift worker? What top tips are there to getting enough quality sleep to keep you on top of your game?
Give your body time to prepare
It might not always be possible, but giving your body a few days to alter your sleep pattern before a change in shift can work wonders.
If you do have a good amount of notice to a huge change in your hours then you can try to postpone your bedtime and by a couple of hours each day until you reach a time that fits within your change of hours.
This gradual change will really help your body to settle down into the new pattern rather than the shock tactic of one day.
Keep a routine
When you work shifts it is important to keep your body to the same sleep/wake schedule on your working days as well as your days off. That way your body will understand when it should be sleeping and when it should be awake.
Take a walk
If it is daytime when you wake up, make sure you get yourself outside for a walk even if it is just for 10 minutes. The sunshine and fresh air will make sure that your body knows it is time to wake up ready for the day.
Overtime can be too much
Despite the fact that working overtime is tempting when it comes to finances it might do you more harm than good. Always think carefully about accepting these opportunities to work extra hours or days as it can have a negative effect on your health and also it is time away from your family!
Do it together
If you have a family around you then make sure that they understand that your sleeping pattern is different to theirs. Children, especially, might need to understand that daddy or mummy works hard while they are asleep which means that they then need to sleep whilst they are awake.
It might be a difficult concept for a child to understand however making sure that they understand at least the importance of not waking the sleeping person up means that you can have a restful sleep.
Avoid sleeping aids
Although they may seem tempting, tablets that claim to help you sleep and other sleeping supplements are unlikely to work or if they do can have detrimental effects on your health and sleeping patterns.
Try a nice warm caffeine free drink and stay away from TV or tablets and phones in order to get your body ready for sleep.
Whilst there are times that you will feel the difficulties of shift working and its effect on your sleep we hope that with these top tips that Slumberdown has helped you to get some much needed sleep.