According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift workers are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
Working Shifts: 9 Tips for Better Sleep
If your job requires that you work the night shift or hours other than the traditional 9 to 5, you need to pay close attention to your sleep. These tips can help you get good sleep:
- Try not to work a number of night shifts in a row.
- Avoid frequently rotating shifts. If you can’t, it’s easier to adjust to a schedule that rotates from day shift to evening to night rather than the reverse order.
- Try to avoid long commutes that take time away from sleeping.
- Keep your workplace brightly lighted to promote alertness.
- Limit caffeine.
- Avoid bright light on the way home from work, which will make it easier for you to fall asleep once you hit the pillow.
- Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as you can.
- Ask your family to limit phone calls and visitors during your sleep hours.
- Use blackout blinds or heavy curtains to block sunlight when you sleep during the day.