"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Tips and tricks for higher sleep for night shift employees

October 11, 2023 – Going to work after sunset has develop into common within the U.S., but what does that mean for the health of night shift employees?

The US Census Bureau estimates that 11.4% to 14% of American employees perform their jobs on a “nonstandard schedule,” meaning they don't work through the day and will not have predictable work hours.

The National Institutes of Health defines night shift work as employment that happens while the vast majority of the population is sleeping and disrupts the natural function of the body circadian rhythm – his natural internal clock.

“Circadian rhythms play an important role in regulating our sleep patterns,” he said Shelby Harris, PsyDclinical associate professor of neurology and psychiatry/behavioral sciences on the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, and director of sleep health at Sleepopolis. “It follows a 24-hour cycle and is strongly influenced by exposure to light and darkness. For example, when we are exposed to natural light in the morning, it sends signals to our body that it is time to wake up, be alert and start producing.” Our day begins within the evening Melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy at night and helps us prepare for sleep. Disruptions to our circadian rhythms, equivalent to people who occur during night shift work, can result in sleep problems, mood swings, sleepiness and slower cognitive processing.”

Chinese researchers report that night shift employees are at higher risk of heart attack and diabetes. Part of this has to do with poor nutrition. A recent one Australian study found that shift employees with various work schedules are at higher risk of diabetes because they have a tendency to eat more ceaselessly and snack more ceaselessly. In addition, the sort of disturbed calm can lead to finish disruption Sleep disorder during shift workin line with the Henry Ford Health System.

What is the most effective technique to take care of this as an evening shift employee? Intelligent time management is paramount.

“The most important action you can take is to schedule enough hours of sleep,” which implies 7 to eight hours of uninterrupted rest, he said Emerson M. Wickwire, PhDProfessor and Chair of Sleep Medicine on the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

It can also be essential to make use of daylight to your advantage. A Study review This is what Korean researchers discovered light therapy has been essentially the most effective way for shift employees to sleep longer as it may well adjust the body's circadian phase. A Lightbox could be helpful. “If you wake up while it's still light, expose yourself to sunlight as soon as possible to signal your body that it's time to be awake,” Harris said. “Open your curtains or take a walk outside. If it's dark when you wake up, use a sunrise alarm clock – it's designed to mimic the natural sunrise. This exposure to light helps regulate your circadian rhythm.” And if you go to bed in daylight, blackout curtains and a sleep mask can be helpful.

Even day workers need good sleep planning – we all experience times when we don't get a full night's sleep but still need to function well. The good news is that most shift workers make it their mission to overcome their sleep problems – and receive excellent advice. Read on for these workers' tips on how to get the best sleep around the clock.

Make yourself feel tired

Josh Hinton, a U.S. merchant mariner, said he used to work as a night cook on a ship. When you have an unusual sleep pattern, it's important to give in to the tiredness and be patient with the process, he advised.

“I got up at 9 p.m. and worked until 10 a.m. It takes about two weeks to fully adjust your sleep schedule. It's impossible to force it – your body won't switch immediately. Instead, take advantage of tiredness. As the days go by, you will sleep more during the day and less at night.”

Use reverse sleep hygiene

Hinton followed common-sense advice about preparing for sleep, but simply mixed up the time frame. Instead of stopping consuming caffeine midday to get a good night's sleep, “drink coffee within the evening and stop around midnight,” Hinton suggested.

Try the dark glasses trick

“When you get off work, wear really dark sunglasses,” recommends Valerie Sinady, night nurse, certified health coach and business health and wellness consultant. “Darkness serves as a signal to fall asleep. Welding goggles are very dark and really inexpensive, with options under $10.”

Take a nap strategically

“Incorporate naps into your day to forestall sleep deficits in the event you are unable to sleep consistently,” recommends Carlos da Silva, a physician assistant who has experience working late nights and longer shifts. “I know some night shift workers who split their sleep, taking a few hours off right after they get home and then taking a long nap in the evening before their next shift. Even a shorter nap just before shift can keep you alert, but still allow yourself to fall asleep when you get home.

(Bonus tip: Need to stay up later than usual? Take a “coffee nap.” A study from the University of South Australia found that drinking 200 milligrams of caffeine and then sleeping for half an hour increased alertness within 45 minutes of waking.)

Keep regular meal times

Debbie Gerken, a certified neonatal intensive care unit nurse, certified pediatric gentle sleep trainer and infant night nurse, found that meal consistency helped her body better adjust to sleep after night shifts.

“Eat breakfast when you get home from work,” she said. “This will help keep your digestive patterns the identical as on days off” – meaning you won't be woken up by hunger pangs.

According to the Sleep Foundationa number of foods can promote sleep.

These include malted milk (which has been shown to stop sleep disorders, possibly due to its vitamin B and D content), fatty fish (which contains vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which can regulate serotonin levels and promote sleep), tart cherries (which contain melatonin to regulate circadian rhythms) and kiwi (which contain antioxidants to facilitate sleep).

Create the right sleep environment

Amy Karim, an MRI technician and blogger who often works night shifts, has perfected her setup: “A dark, quiet, and cool room is crucial. I use earplugs and a white noise machine.”

Karim is also very careful when it comes to preparing for sleep. “I'm going to bed as soon as I get home – no TV to stimulate my brain,” she said. “I save melatonin for those moments when I'm desperate and can't fall asleep. I take less than 1 milligram because it was shown that doses over 0.3 milligrams can actually disrupt sleep.”

And timing is everything. “Try step by step changing your sleep schedule by going to bed and waking 15 to half-hour earlier every day until you reach your required sleep and wake times,” Harris suggested. “Also, create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes calming activities like reading, deep breathing, and meditation.”

Most importantly, seek advice if crucial to get your sleep problem under control. If you've got problems with the standard or quantity of your sleep several times per week, seek advice from your doctor.