Updated: Nov 20
Night Shift Sleeping Tips
I’ve worked night shifts. I know the pains of adjusting my sleep cycle on and off work times. There is a link between shift work, long working hours and several health issues. The suppression of melatonin may play a role in the body’s repairing DNA damage from normal cellular processes. Heart disease and metabolic problems increase gastrointestinal difficulties, obesity, and certain cancers. Unfortunately, the businesses that expect employees to alter their lifestyle, do not educate their employees on the following things they can do. I wish I had known this information when I worked the night shift and was battling a lack of sleep. So please take time to read it.
The Pineal gland controls the body’s Circadian rhythms. It is an internal body clock, located in the hypothalamus in the brain. It regulates physiological and behavioral actions in the body’s cells, including alertness, sleep, temperature control, and hormone production. Natural light and dark cycles run in 24-hour cycles. When your eyes close at night, the circadian pacemaker releases melatonin the sleep hormone from the pineal gland. It causes the body to be more tired and raises the desire to sleep.
Working at night leads to poorer quality daytime sleep due to the inability to block light, excess noise, and unbearable temperature.
Experiment with these tips to make the environment more favourable for sleep.
Do not delay going to bed. It will make you more awake.
Avoid activities that make you feel more alert, until the hours before your next shift.
Set aside 7–9 hours to sleep after a night shift.
Eat and drink before you go to bed. Hunger or thirst may wake you up.
Alcohol diminishes sleep quality and disturbs the deep stages of sleep, leaving you unrefreshed the next day.
Nicotine prevents quality sleep. Smoking is stimulating.
Ensure the room’s ambiance is quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature. Block out sound and use blackout curtains and an eye mask to prevent light from bothering you. Electric fans keep air circulating, during warmer months and provide background noise.
Notify family and friends of your night shift so they don’t bother you.
Read the following post to learn about foods that promote sleep.
Plan your meals to stay alert during working hours and to be more relaxed for sleep.
Eat little and often:
Frequent light meals prevent drowsiness associated with heavy meals.
Choose easy-to-digest foods:
Salad, milk products, fruits, vegetables, bread, rice, and pasta.
Avoid foods difficult to digest:
For example, fried, spicy, and processed meals.
Steer clear of sugary foods:
While they provide short-term energy, they make you tired quickly.
Snack on fruits and vegetables:
Sugars from these foods are metabolized slowly into energy.
Stay hydrated: when working to promote physical and mental performance. Don’t have too many fluids before bed, creating another sleep interruption.
Naps combat fatigue. A 20 to 40-minute rest helps maintain alertness.
Caffeine is a stimulant. Avoid caffeine approximately six hours before bedtime to ensure better sleep.
Trick” the body into an alert state
Light therapy boxes are available, stimulating the daylight to supplement your loss of required sunlight. Intermittent exposure to bright white light can help as much as continual exposure. Night-shift workers who used bright white light during their night shift and prevented light from entering their eyes by wearing sunglasses on the way home could comfortably sleep longer than people without bright light exposure.
Increase bright white light exposure during your shift with the following:
Light therapy box, a bright desk lamp, and overhead lights.
Blue Led keeps you awake, Warm Led helps you sleep. The colour matters.
Purchase this to help with lack of sleep issues.
The supplement melatonin is not the same as the melatonin received from the sun. The light therapy box is the preferred method for receiving melatonin.
Blue light signals to the brain that it is daytime, resulting in poor sleep quality. Avoid blue light emitted from digital devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or television, before bed after a night shift. Or use blue light-blocking glasses to block the blue light emitted from the devices.
A red light signals the brain that it is nighttime. Buy a red light and use it before going to sleep. Here is an excellent red led light with adjustable white and red colours.
It is available on Amazon.
Scheduling of blue and warm lights on electronics
Windows 10 or higher can turn off the blue light emitted from the computer screen. I Phones and Androids also have this option. Some Televisions also have this option.
Affiliate: Stylish Blue Light Blocking Glasses for Women or Men: Night Shift Sleeping Tips
Affiliate: Stylish Blue Light Blocking Glasses for Women or Men : Night Shift Sleeping Tips
Decreasing light exposure after your shift:
Wear sunglasses on your journey home, preventing the blue led street lights from bothering you.
Turn the WIFI off. It decreases noises from electronic equipment. It will also reduce electromagnet exposure.
Experiment with the above concepts to ensure the right amount of sleep to function properly during your night.
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