Get Better Sleep (As a Shift Worker)
Proven tips and tricks that can improve your sleep quality — read below for the best sleep info from iRize!
Shift workers operate outside the traditional 9 to 5 business hours and often work opposite schedules such as 7 pm to 7 am and they include nurses, doctors, factory workers, police officers, etc..
Because of their unique hours, they are often subject to major sleep disturbances and lack of high-quality sleep. You would think that sleep is sleep, right? It doesn’t make a difference whether it’s at 10 pm or 6 am as long as you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. This logically makes sense, however, in reality, that’s not how it pans out.
We have an internal clock, which is known as the circadian rhythm — it’s how our bodies know when to wake up and when to fall asleep. And, when this gets shaken up and set on a new schedule it can wreak havoc on our sleep with both long-term and short-term health issues, including a sleep disorder known as shift-work sleep disorder (SWSD).
Short-term Sleep Issues
- GI upset and stomach concerns
- Decreased quality of life
- Stress and anxiety
Long-term Sleep Issues
- Heart concerns
- Mood disorders
- Chronic illness
- Compromised immunity
So, how can shift workers improve their sleep while working abnormal hours? While shift work isn’t recommended long-term, it’s understandable that people need to do this work for a variety of reasons, and there are ways to better manage and improve the quality of sleep.
Sleep Management Tips For Shift Workers
While each shift work position looks a little different, below are some general tips and tricks to help you get a better night’s sleep.
While it may be tempting to make plans with friends or take your kids to school in the early morning after your shift ends, it’s vital that you prioritize your sleep just like anyone else. It’s about setting clear boundaries and saying no to things so you can get eight hours of sleep.
Know Your Surroundings
If you have to sleep during the day it’ll do you a great service to know the kinds of disruptions you may encounter, so start by identifying what could potentially wake you up.
Are others in your home during the day? Getting better sleep may be as simple as having a conversation with them by communicating your needs. If you need it to be quiet, ask them to respect your needs.
Do you live at a busy intersection or right by the train tracks? The constant sound of trains or traffic can keep you awake, so investigate how to better soundproof your room or investing in high-quality ear protection.
Track Your Sleep
A great way to know what your sleep patterns look like is by knowing what stages you’re in and when you wake up. There are some great sleep tracking apps and devices that can provide valuable information to better identify when and potentially why you’re waking up or why your sleep is being disrupted.
You can even go the old fashioned way and keep a sleep journal. While you won’t be able to know the subtle nuances of your sleep, if you jot down a few things about your sleep when you wake up, over time, you may be able to see a pattern.
Control the Controllables
While you may not be able to escape living near the train tracks, there are a few things you can do to allow you to control what you can.
- Invest in a quality eye mask – Light is one of the biggest disrupters of sleep, so an eye mask can be one of the first defenses of a beam of light that wants to wake you!
- Get light-blocking curtains – On top of a sleep mask, blackout curtains are key. They do a phenomenal job of blocking light from windows and even doors.
- Try a wake-up light – If you’re using an eye mask and/or blackout curtains, a wake-up light can be scheduled to turn on 30 minutes before your alarm goes off to help you with the transition.
- Sleep in the basement – A dark, silent basement room can be a welcomed refuge for shift workers! If you’re able to sleep in the basement, they are often quieter and get less daylight, not to mention, there’s typically less traffic, thus fewer disruptions.
- Create a relaxing sleep routine – Establishing a sleep routine is highly recommended for those who do shift work. This can be eating a small meal before bed followed by a shower or bath, calming down bedside with a good book, staying off your electronic devices, and diffusing relaxing essential oils. Whatever helps prepare you for a good night’s sleep, do that and do that often.
iRize supports shift workers!
At iRize, we know there are so many things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep and a high-quality mattress is just one part of it! An old, outdated mattress can easily disturb your sleep as you’re constantly tossing and turning, losing precious sleep in the process.
Control what you can with a better, healthier mattress! Choose from a variety of iRize mattresses that help lull you to sleep and keep your temperature just right, as to avoid waking up in a puddle of sweat! From our iRize i1000 to the iRize Ice Hybrid, there is a mattress that you’ll love!
We’re here for you! Connect with iRize today!