Shift Worker’s Guide to Better Sleep

A graveyard shift can cause insomnia and other sleep problems.

Do you work second or third shift? Do your work hours change from day-to-day, often leaving you to perform your duties in the dark? If you have answered yes, then you may be among millions who have difficulty sleeping as a result of shift work sleep disorder. The good news is that there are ways to overcome the difficulty finding the rest that you need.

Maintain a Healthy Work Schedule
This means not working for endless nights in a row. Employers should provide days off to break up the monotony of working overnight and those breaks will be a saving grace when it comes to catching up on the rest needed to perform well.

Relocate to Be Close to the Job
If your profession dictates working odd, overnight hours, then do yourself a favor and live close by. Long commutes coupled with shift work can be very damaging to one’s sleep habits and also be very dangerous, as overly tired drivers take to the road.

Improve Your Work Environment
The trick to successfully working an odd shift is to fool the body into believing that night is day and vice versa. Keep your work environment as brightly lit as possible and consider natural light lamps that mimic the sun’s rays. When it comes time to rest, after the job is done, keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Invest in heavy duty shades or curtains to block out sunlight, turn off all lamps and ceiling lights and shut the door.

Cut out the Caffeine
It might seem like a natural pick for those working in the darkest hours of the day, but when it is consumed too late in the shift it can make sleep very difficult when you get home. Stick to a cup of coffee or two at the start of the shift and then switch over to water, juice or some other non-caffeinated option.

Read more helpful tips for better sleep

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