Shift work is part of a range of industries, and can take the form of permanent night shifts, rotating shifts, split shifts, or overtime and on-call. Shift workers are the most vulnerable to sleep disruption and deprivation, and this can affect your work and home life. However, we’ve gathered some handy sleep tips for you to help yourself get a good night’s snooze.

Aim for a steady schedule. You can help keep your biological clock tuned into your sleep with ‘anchor sleep’. Try to have at least four hours of sleep at the same time every night or morning. For example, your anchor sleep could be between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. This will work towards keeping your sleep clock regular.

Use the weekends or days off. If you get a weekend off, use this time to catch up on your sleep. If you don’t get regular weekends off, use what days you get off in the same way. It can be tempting to do chores or catch up on errands when you’re not working, but getting a good sleep is just as beneficial.

Have a good sleeping environment. Having a comfortable bed in a dark, cool, and quiet room is essential to a good sleep. Invest in blackout curtains if you have to sleep during the day. Also, try to block out any noise – install double glazing or use ear plugs.

Let the light in. When it’s time to wake up, you need light – especially if it’s dark outside when you get out of bed. Switch on the lights, or invest in a special lamp that starts with low-level light before gradually getting brighter to stimulate a sunrise. This will help to speed up your biological clock, and it’s a more pleasant way to wake up than to the shrilling intrusion of an alarm clock. Our Wake Up to Daylight light from Lumie is a great choice, as it mimics sunlight. You can read more about its benefits here.

Avoid stimulants. The obvious one is caffeine. Although the first cup will help raise alertness, drinking caffeine throughout the day or night will make it harder to fall asleep when you get home. You should also avoid large meals and vigorous exercise for at least four hours before going to bed. Also, over-the-counter sleeping aids could make you over sleepy when you need to be alert, so it’s best to try to stay away from these, too.

Watch what you eat. The best bedtime snack is one that contains complex carbohydrates and protein, and perhaps some calcium. This is why dairy products, like yoghurts and milk, are great sleep-inducing foods.

Work Your Sleep Schedule Around Night Shifts

Even if there’s no flexibility as to the shifts you work, what you do before, during, and after the night shift can make a huge difference to your sleepiness and general mood. We’ve gathered some tips and ideas for how you can make your night shift just a little bit...

Sleep Tips for Shift Workers

Shift work is part of a range of industries, and can take the form of permanent night shifts, rotating shifts, split shifts, or overtime and on-call. Shift workers are the most vulnerable to sleep disruption and deprivation, and this can affect your work and home...

What is Shift Work Sleep Disorder?

Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that can affect people who work non-traditional hours. This can include people working night shifts and irregular shift patterns. 22% of the workers in the UK are shift workers, with 22% of these...

Sleep and the Night Shift

Firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, factory workers, and office cleaning staff – they’re all pillars of society. What else have they got in common? They all work night shifts. Working at night can keep you from getting the full sleep that most...
Share This