Perhaps you’ve been out of work for a while raising babies and looking after the house, and you are ready to go back to work. Night shift is something that many families find attractive. It could be the night shift in a hotel reception, bar work, all-night diners, medical work, or security.
No matter what type of night shift you take, there are going to be some adjustments that you need to make.
The first few nights into the night shift, you will probably need to take it easy on yourself. Many people figure – how hard can it be? But actually, turning your day-to-night routines backward can take a lot of work, and more than that, you’re going to be tired for a short while.
Many people go through feeling groggy while they are awake and can also be irritable until they fully get into the swing of things.
Don’t take on extra things on the days when you are meant to be sleeping until you are further into your routine. Take the pressure off until you are in the position where you get the sleep you need.
Careful With Coffee
On the night shift, you’ll be looking for the quick bumps of energy that caffeine and sugar give, but they also lead to a crash after a few hours too. Not to mention if you have a little bit too much caffeine when you finally do get home, and you’re hoping to sleep, you might not be able to.
Reach for fruit, nuts, and vegetables and plenty of water to give you a more sustainable source of energy; consider oats and low-gi foods to keep your blood sugar levels and energy steady through the evening.
Day sleep can be notoriously difficult to do well. Start by making sure you have some blackout blinds to block all the sunlight out. The next thing you will need to contend with is the daytime noises outside. This can be damped somewhat, but you’ll need a couple of things to help.
- Earplugs designed for sleeping
- The soft headbands that play music while you sleep
- Turning on a fan
- Draught excluders under the doors and along the window
Try to keep the room at about 18 degrees C, as that is the recommended temperature given by sleep studies. Breathable bedding and p.js are a must to make sure you don’t overheat.
A weighted eye mask can help to keep you asleep; they help the eyes stay closed a little better than the lighter ones.
Being strict with your sleep schedule is a must, and you should head into the sleep schedule you’ll need a few days before your shift if possible. Your body will need some time to adjust, and if you have the opportunity to switch your day and night a little earlier, that is a great idea.
Turning around again after a night shift stint can also be troublesome, but many who are on their off days will put off going to sleep after getting home from their last night shift. Napping can be built into the routine to help with the adjustments.
Sleep is something that many people struggle with, so here are some extra tips to help: Five tips for a better night’s rest – Travelling Twinkles.