How to Maintain a Healthy Sleeping Pattern When You Work Irregular Hours

0
96
Sleeping Pattern tips

Maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern can be a real challenge if you work irregular hours. It seems like every time you get into a good sleep routine, your work schedule changes and throws everything off balance.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Below, we discuss some tips and tricks for keeping your sleeping pattern on track despite an erratic work schedule.

Use Sleep Aids

If your irregular hours are causing you to have trouble sleeping, using a sleep aid can be a great way to help get yourself back on track.

Some people find relief by taking over-the-counter medications like melatonin, while others prefer natural products like valerian root tea. Cannabis has also proven to be a potential remedy for individuals who are struggling with sleep disorders like insomnia.

Research has revealed that cannabis can effectively decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, also known as sleep onset latency. Additionally, the same study demonstrates improvements in both the quality and quantity of sleep of patients who incorporated cannabis into their treatment plan.

A significant number of these individuals were also able to stop their use of prescription medications previously taken for managing sleep and anxiety reasons, highlighting the potential of cannabis as an alternative therapeutic option for sleep disorders.

There are many different sleep aids available on the shelves of beauty outlets, health food stores, and specialist retailers such as Spiritleaf, and you may need to try several options before finding one that works best for you.

As always, make sure that you consult your doctor before taking any new medications or supplements to ensure they’re safe for you to use.

Set a Sleep Schedule

One of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep, regardless of your work schedule, is to set a regular sleep schedule and stick to it. This means going to bed and waking up simultaneously each day, even on weekends.

If your schedule varies each day and you can’t set a specific sleep schedule for yourself, try to get into the habit of taking a nap after work or during lunch breaks. This way, you can catch up on some much-needed rest before going back to work later in the day.

It might be tough to get used to at first, but eventually, your body will adjust, and you’ll be sleeping soundly through the night in no time at all.

Try a Weighted Blanket

Inspired by deep pressure stimulation, a technique used by therapists to promote calm and relaxation, weighted blankets have recently become popular with insomnia sufferers.

The firm, even pressure from a weighted blanket can ease anxiety and encourage the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps with sleep. There are several types available on the market, such as duvets with glass or plastic beads, or blankets specially knitted with heavy thread.

For persistent insomnia, it’s best to speak with a medical professional as there may be underlying conditions such as sleep apnea that are preventing you from getting quality sleep.

Focus on Healthy Eating

Think about it: when you’re tired, what’s the first thing you reach for? Usually, that would be a cup of coffee or an energy drink. But consuming caffeine and empty calories can make your sleep problems worse.

Instead of relying on quick fixes to get through the day, try eating food that is nutritious and high in protein. This will help you feel more energized and alert during your shift hours without the need for caffeine.

Look for foods that contain protein and fiber, as well as nutrients like B6 and tryptophan, which help balance blood sugar and promote melatonin production. Eggs, salmon, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich are all good options.

Create an Optimal Sleep Environment

For night-shift workers, it’s often difficult to get restful sleep during the day. Bright light affects the body’s ability to produce melatonin, which is a crucial hormone for achieving restorative sleep. It also disrupts our circadian rhythm, which tells our bodies that it’s time to wake up when the sun rises.

Create a dark environment in your sleeping space by using blackout curtains to keep out the sunlight. Heavy curtains also help to block outside noise, which is helpful if you live close to a busy thoroughfare.

If there are others in your home that are awake during the day, a white noise machine or fan can provide background noise to help reduce loud sounds. A fan has the extra benefit of keeping the room cool, lowering your body temperature and promoting deep sleep.

Endnote

Sleep is an essential part of life. However, if you work a night shift or irregular schedule, it can prove challenging to find adequate rest and relaxation during the day. While this may seem like a challenge at first, investing in your sleep habits can pay off in the long run by providing you with more energy and motivation that will help you stay productive during your work hours