Thousands of years of evolution are hard to overcome. We are hardwired to sleep at night. However, there are many jobs that demand people stay awake during the night, even though their body and mind fight it. Then when the shift worker gets home, even though they are exhausted they will sometimes struggle to get to sleep as their body clock will be gearing them up for the day.
Anyone who has ever worked night shift will know how difficult it is to adjust to the strange hours that their jobs demand. Our bodies are designed to be awake during the day and asleep during the night, with our body clocks being set by external light levels. There are ways that the shift worker can sleep during the day though they do, in part, require that the shifts are at a regular time because the body craves routine. If you can get your boss to agree to putting you on the same hours each night it will help drastically.
Getting to sleep when the rest of the world is waking up can be made easier if the bedroom is made as quiet and dark as possible. The shift worker needs to try and replicate the night time as much as they can. This is the key to getting a good night’s, or day’s, sleep.
Making the bedroom dark is relatively easy. You can buy thick blackout blinds which will eliminate virtually all of the daylight and if you cannot afford those then a simple eye mask will do the trick. Remember that you need to turn off all those LED lights on the electronic devices in your bedroom as even these can have an impact on the quality of your sleep.
However, reducing noise will be a lot more difficult as compared to night time, the street noise is actually very loud. You can try wearing earplugs but often these are somewhat uncomfortable and not always that effective at blocking noise. The more expensive the ear plugs the better the job and if you are serious about wanting to sleep then you may need to spend up to $100 on a good pair of earplugs. Another good way of reducing the noise is to use white noise. This is a kind of ambient static that reduces the intensity of other noises. You can buy machines that produce this noise or you can get CDs with hours of white noise on them.
Another good thing to do if you are working night shifts is to try and stick to your normal eating routine. So keep eating breakfast, lunch and dinner just as you would if you were sleeping at night and this should help to keep your energy levels up.
Sleeping after a night shift can be difficult but the best thing you can do is try to replicate the night environment. Make your room as quiet and dark as possible and stick to regular sleeping routines.
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