Have you recently accepted a job that will require you to work a night shift? Do you find yourself struggling with finding a good sleeping routine to prepare for the night shift that you’re working? If so, then you need to figure out how to achieve the best sleep schedule for the night shift.
Some people are wired differently. There are some out there that can naturally stay up through the night and sleep all day. Others that are more in tune with their circadian rhythm (sleep and wake patterns that collaborate with the sun) will struggle to work a night shift.
See below for several tips and tricks that you can try to get the best sleep possible before your next graveyard shift.
Train Yourself Effectively
Believe it or not, sleeping at night didn’t always come that easily to you either. Once upon a time, your parents had to sleep train you to try and get you to sleep through the night.
What does that tell us? That the same can be done for reversing your sleeping cycle. If you’re going to be working during the night shift, you’ll need to sleep while the sun is overhead, which isn’t easy for most people.
Thankfully, there’s a way you can slowly train yourself to get some quality Zs during the day. If you know what your new work schedule will be, you can gradually work your way towards that.
Use a 2-hour rule for the easiest adjustment. For example, let’s say that you usually go to sleep around 8 pm and wake up at around 6 am each day.
On Day 1 of your training schedule, try to go to bed 2 hours later than you usually would and wake up 2 hours later as well. In this case, you’d be shooting to go to bed around 10 pm and waking up around 8 am.
Do that for about two days, then try to go to bed at midnight and waking up at 10 am. Then in a few days, go to sleep two hours later than that… you get the idea!
Get Some Assistance
There’s no shame in admitting that you need help. Sleeping during the day can feel unnatural to some. Those people are typically in line with their circadian rhythm, making it all the more difficult to sleep when the sun is outside.
For that reason, we recommend trying to get some assistance from supplementation. Many people enjoy using melatonin since it encourages your body’s natural process for lulling you to sleep.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, melatonin is a hormone that’s naturally produced inside your brain. Typically, the brain uses the dark to determine when to produce melatonin, so if you’re sleeping during the day, it won’t produce as much. That’s when taking a melatonin tablet can help aid the process.
Some out there prefer to use CBD and sleep soundly until their night shift begins. There are actually three categories of CBD—full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD—that you’ll want to know about before you try it. Be sure to do your research to find the right fit.
Try to avoid using over-the-counter treatments, like Benadryl, too much. Using them for sleeping purposes can cause more harm than good.
Unleash the Power of Naps
You might be surprised to find out that the length of your nap plays a bigger role than you might’ve imagined. The goal shouldn’t always be to nap for as long as possible.
If you nap for longer than 40 minutes, your body will naturally enter deeper sleep. If you wake up from deep sleep, it can leave you feeling even groggier than before.
Give yourself ample time to nap if you intend to nap for a few hours. This can give you the energy boost that you need to do your job effectively and remain as alert as possible. At least, until the coffee kicks in!
Prepare Your Room Effectively
You might not be able to control when the sun goes up and down during the day. However, you can still control how much of it seeps into your bedroom. Even during the day.
Most people don’t realize how much of a role that light plays in your sleeping patterns. As we mentioned, your brain only generates melatonin once the body is in the dark. If you’re trying to sleep in a light-filled room, you’re going against your body’s natural inclinations and instincts.
We recommend investing in electric blinds with a thick material. That way, you can cancel out the light and get undisturbed sleep!
Make no mistake about it, this is a huge life transition. Shifting to the night shift isn’t for the faint of heart. That said, anyone can do it if they’re intentional about it.
Be sure to track your progress and keep a diligent schedule of your sleep cycle. Use step one to train yourself for the night shift and you’ll become a pro at it in no time at all.
The best sleep schedule for the night shift is the one that’s carefully monitored. In time, you’ll find how much sleep you need before your next shift. It will become like second nature.
Integrate the Best Sleep Schedule for Night Shift
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to get the best sleep schedule for the night shift going in your life, be sure to use it effectively.
Start with a plan. Give yourself at least a week or two to get used to the new schedule. While you train yourself, make sure to have plenty of caffeine ready to get the much-needed boost.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on sleeping patterns, as well as many other helpful topics.