Sleep tips for night shift workers



Sleep tips for night shift workers

We all need 7-8 hours of proper sleep. But what about the security guard who patrols our office space at night? Or what do you think about an emergency nurse or a doctor serving at night? What should do other night shift workers like the police or other emergency maintenance workers to fulfil their sleep quota?

It’s always a puzzle for all of us. But the truth is the human brain has excellent capability to cope with almost every situation.

We will try to find out the appropriate ways to get some sleep and maintain normal body function. Because at morning hours, it is difficult to sleep, and a sleepless night may develop anxiety, even psychic attacks.


There are mainly two types of night shift workers.

  1. Having a regular, continuous night shift work at least ten days-15 days in a month and remaining evening or morning shift duties.
  2. Having 1-2 days of every weeknight duty with a roster. It is a little tricky situation to get a regular habit.

Here are some tips to get proper sleep for a night shift worker:

  1. Accept the situation:

At first, you have to accept your situation. If you are anxious and feel irritated about your night shift work or about your job, it will make you worse, and you can’t get asleep after a hard try. Your brain is a magic box. Try to believe it and absorb it. You can control your habit and can get rid of this situation. It is the flow of time that gives you this position and this job. You have to accept it and try to do it properly.

  1. Get inspired and be motivated to accept this situation:

What do you think about the night shift worker? Most of them are doing emergency jobs, like saving lives and properties. Their sleepless nights bring a calm and fearless night to all of us. They are guarding and managing gas, water, and electricity supplies, selling emergency medications, and helping people by providing oil or gas for their long drives, nurses and doctors are counting every pulse with a hope of a new life... Don’t think these are just businesses they do for their living. It is a service that makes our life smooth. If you are a night shift worker, don’t think you do your job only for your living. It is for maintaining the proper order of other lives. So, be inspired by your job. Don’t think it is making you psychic. Don’t feel irritated. Try to accept it and be motivated to do it properly.

  1. Find a sleep hour:

If you are working in an office where you have to do night sift every day or more than ten days a month, you can have a permanent sleep routine. During the night shift block of a month, try to have regular 6-8 hour sessions with continuous sleep during your daytime. It can be morning or evening. Try to have a 5-6 hour session of continuous sleep, and you may take a 1-2 hour nap after a few hours of regular work.

During the other days of the month, you should sleep at night for 7-8 hours. Don’t be afraid if you are taking on an average of 6 hours of sleep daily. It doesn’t have so many health hazards. In fact, most of Japanese don’t sleep more than 6 hours a day.

If you are an irregular weekly night shift worker, then it is difficult to establish a biological sleep cycle in your brain. If you do the night shift every alternative day, then it is more difficult to sleep for you.

Try to convince your boss and colleagues to make a good roster where you all have 2-3 consecutive nights for duty.

Make a specific sleep roster for another 4-5 days. For example, if you have to do two nights (Friday and Saturday), two evenings(Monday and Tuesday), and two mornings (Wednesday and Thursday) shift duties with a holiday(Sunday), then you have to do two nights consecutively (Friday and Saturday) and make a specific time for sleeping for other five days. If morning hours are suitable for you to sleep, you will get five subsequent mornings (Friday to Tuesday) in a week to sleep. If you think evening hours are more comforting for you to sleep, you will get Wednesday to Sunday to sleep in the evening.

In the other two days, you have to sleep at night. Though it is difficult to establish a regular sleep rhythm in your brain, if you accept your current situation and try to overcome it with your soul, you can control your sleep habit.

  1. Sleep naps:

You can take 20-30 minutes 2-3 naps in your office, if there are no emergencies, on your desk. It will help you to calm your brain and improve your confidence. If not possible, forget about it. Try to think that you will have 5-6 hours of continuous sleep the next morning. Don’t be paranoid.

  1. Creating a proper sleep environment:
  • Family support is essential to establish sleeping hours at unusual times like morning or evening. Because at that time, other members of your family will do different things. So, it won't be easy to accept your situation and establish an appropriate sleep routine by yourself without your family's support.
  • Use a dark and quiet room for sleep.
  • It’s better to switch off your mobile or other electronic toys, which can disrupt your sleep.
  • After going to bed, don’t look at the clock and don’t calculate your sleep hours.
  • Try to feel relaxed as much as possible.
  • Use a comfortable mattress and pillow.
  1. Diet and drink habits:

Diet and drink habits should be accordingly adjusted.

  • You should follow a proper diet plan containing all types of nutritious substances that are required for your body. You should take vegetables and a fruit-rich diet and carbohydrates, protein, and fat should be added to your diet appropriately. You also can take quality multivitamins and micronutrients as a supplement to meet your daily requirements.
  • Don’t overeat before sleep. It is better to avoid food intake and drink at least 2 hours before your bedtime.
  • Don’t eat spicy and too much oily foods that can disturb your abdomen and can cause heartburn.
  • Avoid tea or coffee for at least 8 hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol. Both are brain stimulants and impair significantly your sleep pattern.
  1. Exercise and stress relieving techniques:

Daily 20-30 minutes of cardio exercises are very much helpful to increase oxygenated blood circulation to your brain and help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Fast, brisk walking and jogging are excellent exercises to maintain proper health. But you can do other heavy exercises too.

You can try doing some yoga or meditation practices to relieve your stress and anxiety. Daily 15-20 minutes of the mediation session is enough to calm your mind and help your mind to accept any negative situations like night shift jobs.

There are many tips you can follow. But these are the central theme to establish your sleep pattern. If you are a night shift worker, you have to accept your condition and try to cope with this situation.


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