It can be a bit of a nightmare for shift or night time workers, as their whole sleeping patterns are all over the place and upside down.
You go out to work at night when most people are tucking themselves into bed and finish your shift in the morning, when most are waking up. Due to this, you then rest during the day.
But what are the best sleeping tips to get some shut-eye?
First of all, you can help keep your biological clock tuned in to your sleep with anchor sleep. This is in which you aim to have at least four hours sleep at the same time every night/morning to keep your sleep clock regular.
Another tip is to use the weekend or days off to get in some extra “recovery” sleep, otherwise known as “banking” sleep.
Introduce bright lights in the evening before your shift starts to waken you up i.e. brighter light bulbs; and avoid the dawn light on the way home by wearing sunglasses.
Furthermore, make sure the sleeping environment is as helpful as possible. A comfortable odd size mattress and bed in a dark, well-ventilated room, is essential. Try investing in some blackout curtains, wearing ear plugs and installing double glazing to keep out any sounds.
Likewise, when it’s time to wake up you need light, preferably special lamps which start with low level light and gradually get brighter to help to speed up the biological clock once more. And this is a more pleasant way to wake up rather than with an alarm clock.
Food is important too so avoid stimulants such as caffeine, large meals or vigorous exercise at least three hours before hitting the pillow.
If you struggle to drift off lavender, orange blossom, Scot’s pine, camomile tea and peppermint all claim to promote sleep.
Remember, sleeplessness leads to poor concentration, memory, increased irritability and hostility.