Getting enough sleep at night is paramount to functioning through the upcoming day. If you're having poor quality sleep, you'll feel it and it will affect your productivity when you're awake.
As humans, we're supposed to sleep at night and wake up when it's light, however, for a lot of people, especially shift workers, this can become impossible.
On top of this, night shift workers have to sleep when everyone's awake with the natural light and noise from the daytime disrupting their slumber. We've put together our top 5 ways for getting enough sleep as a shift worker.
How does shift work affect your circadian rhythms?
Your sleep and wake cycle is essentially your body clock. The 24-hour cycle, known as a circadian rhythm, is responsible for regulating everything from when you feel hungry, to how your temperature changes throughout the day. To keep the cycle in check, it's important to keep on top of your sleep schedule.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene is important for both your overall health, productivity levels and quality of life. It's the act of putting yourself in the best position to sleep well every night. This can range from making sure you wake up at the same time and go to sleep at the same time to following a nighttime routine.
Ways to wind down before bed:
- Dim your lights
- Turn off electronics
- Light a candle
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb
It's super easy to get distracted by your phone notifications, especially when trying to sleep during the day, but turning off your phone or putting it in Do Not Disturb can help a lot.
If you have an iPhone, there's a focus mode you can set up. You choose when your phone goes into Do Not Disturb and when it comes out of it. This will stop you from getting any notifications or calls, except for the people you have in your Allowed Contacts.
Remove any light from your bedroom
Did you know that any kind of light, artificial or not, can keep you awake at night? Blue light, found in sunlight is part of the process that controls your body's circadian rhythm. So if you're sleeping after a night shift, it's worth blocking it out. An eye mask, or sleep mask, is a great, inexpensive way to block light from coming in and mimic a dark room.
Our Total Blackout Eye Mask is the perfect companion if you're someone who sleeps during the day. It has ergonomic wings on either side of your nose so you’re rest assured that absolutely no light will enter your eyes.
Get light in while you're working
As we said, sunlight helps regulate your circadian rhythm so making sure you're taking in light when you want to be awake is important too. If you're on a night shift, exposing yourself to as much light as possible will trick your body into thinking it's daytime.
If you live with people, let them know when you're going to be sleeping so they can refrain from doing noisy activities like listening to music, washing dishes or having loud conversations. If necessary, purchase ear plugs to help block out any noise.