Has the night shift thrown off your sleep schedule? Do you have a hard time sleeping when it’s light outside? Proper sleep is vital to your mental health. It allows your brain to sort through all your experiences and emotions from the day. If your mental health has suffered from an inconsistent schedule, these sleep routine tips for night shift workers will help you get back on track.
Maintain Your Schedule Even on Your Days off
Your body thrives on routine. You may be tempted to switch back to a daytime sleeping schedule on your days off, but try to avoid that. Instead, go to bed and wake up around the same time you would working the night shift. You may have to make slight adjustments to fit your daily tasks, but stay as close to your routine as possible. This will make it easier to fall asleep because your body is not trying to adjust to a new schedule every few days.
Create a Night-Like Environment
Set up your room to mimic nighttime. Use room darkening or blackout curtains to block out the light. Wear earplugs if needed to drown out the noise. You could also turn on a fan or use a white noise machine to cancel out the traffic and commotion in your neighborhood. You may not be able to stare at natural moonlight as you fall asleep, but you can create a similar experience for yourself.
Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine
When we say “routine,” we mean it. Go through the same steps each time you try to go to bed. You might take a shower, do a puzzle, watch a show on television, or listen to music before you fall asleep. You may prefer to wind down with a glass of wine and a good book. Whatever you do, just make sure that it is consistent from day-to-day. This will help your body realize that it’s time for bed.
Clear Your Mind
It’s hard to fall asleep when you have the stress and emotions from the day weighing on your shoulders. If you have a significant other, talk to them about your day before going to bed. You could also journal your thoughts or share them with a close friend. Do this well before you plan to fall asleep so you have time to relax and calm down.
Note: Some experiences may weigh on you more heavily than typical daily stress. In this case, talk to a therapist about your thoughts and feelings so you can find solutions for your struggles. If you are dealing with anxiety, stress from work, depression, anger management issues, or other emotions, your therapist can help you through that.
We offer affordable in-home counseling in Illinois. This is ideal for night shift workers who may not have time to see a therapist during normal office hours. We will match you with a licensed therapist who can accommodate your schedule and help you find a healthy sleep routine. Give us a call at (847) 903-5604 to schedule an appointment with a therapist near you.