Over 22 million Americans are working rotating, evening, and on-call shifts. Having poor sleep can cause health issues, fatigue, and an increase in the risk of work-related injuries. You should try having the same sleep schedule daily – even during your off days – and having naps before going to work.
When you search for sleep advice, you will notice it is tailored around people working the normal 9-5 jobs, but what about the 22 million who are working outside these hours? Many of the tips and tricks used in achieving quality sleep for normal hours is the same that can be used by people working irregular hours.
Why is it Important to have a Sleep Schedule?
It is important to have a consistent sleep schedule and comfortable environment because it makes falling asleep easier, and you will be able to get enough sleep. Invest in a new mattress if necessary like a Walmart mattress. If you work during the middle of the night, a schedule will help keep you alert (this is important because you need to be awake so you can be able to do your job) and also reducing the risk of getting involved in a work-related injury, which tends to be higher for people working when tired. When you driving, there is a higher risk for night-shift workers when they are drowsy.
Which is the Best Sleep Schedule?
The best sleep schedule for people working non-traditional hours is a consistent one. While this might sound simple, it can time some time to train both your body and mind to sleep during times that you are normally awake. Always set your alarm at the same time whether it is afternoon or evening, and also try to go to bed at the same time when you get home in the morning (you need to make sure you go to bed as soon as possible because you don’t want the natural daylight confusing your body into remaining awake) You should stick to this schedule even on the days you don’t go to work because it ensures your body clock is consistent throughout. The natural body clock has been wired to feel tired at night, so changing it on the weekends can make things harder for you.
Even though you are not working the normal hours, your goal should remain to get about seven to nine hours of sleep every day. You also need to have naps because it will help you keep alert when working. Before going to work, take a 90-minute nap. When you are done with your shift, take a 15-minute nap before you go home and get your sleep. The short nap will help you feel re-energized, and this will make your commute safer.
You need to be patient when it comes to a new strategy. Instead of going all-in on your new sleep strategy, start by switching your sleep routine over two weeks, moving your wake/sleep time back or forward by 15-minute increments daily until you have the desired time. If you are having a harder time with the routine a month or two after starting it, then consider talking to your physician so they can tell you ways of getting the sleep you need regardless of the schedule.