Sleep Tips for Night Owls and Shift Workers
Are you one of those natural night owls or those people working the night shift? Do you sometimes find sleep so elusive? If so, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your nocturnal lifestyle.
1) Stick to a regular sleep-wake-cycle
It’s important to get up and go to bed at the same time everyday, including weekends and holidays. Doing so will reinforce your biological clock to the desired schedule, ultimately resulting to better sleep. Set your alarm and avoid pressing the snooze button when it goes off. Discipline is key in these situations. And, in the hours leading up to your bedtime, limit the amount of light you’re exposed to and cut back on your screen time. Make it a practice to go through a peaceful bedtime routine before going to bed to tell your body it’s time to wind down.
2) Make your bedroom ideal for sleeping.
Working late at night can cause sleep to become elusive at times, so it is highly important to create a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom. To start with, make sure you are sleeping on a comfortable bed. If you tend to wake up with an aching back or a stiff neck, you may need to invest in a better mattress. Keeping the noise to a minimum is also a great way to create a peaceful and relaxing sanctuary. However, if you can’t eliminate the noise from barking dogs, city traffic, and noisy neighbors, try toning it down with a fan, soft music, or white noise. And, darken your room with shades to block out that morning light.
3) Eat well on a regular basis.
A healthy diet could mean the difference between sound sleep or wakeful nightmares. It’s essential to watch what you put inside your body. Many people who work late hours end up eating terrible diets. It’s an easy trap to fall into, considering that the only food available during the night shift are the ones you should avoid. Packing your own meals is the perfect solution to this problem, since it helps you save money and eat better at the same time.
4) Get plenty of exercise.
Don’t compromise your daily workout schedule when working the night shift. Exercise is one of the solid ways to get the quality sleep you deserve, and it’s beneficial to your health. Since you’re already at a disadvantage in both fronts, it’s highly important for you to keep up regular physical activity.
5) Limit your caffeine intake.
The jury is out when it comes to caffeine. Working late and staying up late can result to more sleep issues and disturbances since you’re disrupting your body’s natural circadian rhythm, and you wouldn’t want to contribute to the existing problem. Some doctors may tell you to give up caffeine entirely, but some people can get by the night just fine with a cup coffee just fine. It’s generally about timing, so choose the right amount with the timing that works best for you.