How to Improve Sleep Quality After a Night Shift

There are plenty of pros and cons to night shift work. The advantages include a higher rate of pay, extra leisure time during the day, and, depending on the type of work you do, there are fewer people in your way. Unfortunately, the disadvantages include an increased risk of developing certain health conditions, a higher risk of developing mental health issues, and disruption to the body’s natural circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm helps regulate a person’s sleep-wake cycles, and a regulated circadian rhythm enables the body to function properly. If your circadian rhythm is out of sync, you could find it difficult to fall asleep, and when you do finally nod off, the sleep quality may be poor. Furthermore, a disrupted circadian rhythm can eventually lead to reduced productivity in the workplace. Here are a few ways night shift workers can improve sleep quality and maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

  • Is Your Bed Comfortable?

A great way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep is by resting on a comfortable bed. Research shows that an old, uncomfortable bed can reduce the amount of time you sleep at night and increase your chance of waking up with aches and pains. Besides a good bed frame, you need to make sure your bedclothes feel good and are breathable and your mattress is high quality and in good condition. Endurance Beds have a range of beds and mattresses to suit all needs. You can view their collection via Choose a mattress that complements your sleep position. For instance, back sleepers can improve their spine alignment with a foam or coil and hybrid foam mattress, while memory foam mattresses offer adequate support for side sleepers. Sleeping on your stomach can stress out the spine and result in neck and back pain. If you can’t change your sleep position, choose a firm foam or hybrid mattress.

  • Light Exposure

Light exposure has a massive impact on the body’s circadian rhythm. It triggers your circadian clock to keep you alert. You can trick your body into ‘waking up’ by spending time in well-lit areas during the first part of your day and reducing light exposure during the end of your shift. To elevate your sleep quality, try to limit as much light exposure as possible once you return home. A great way to block out light is to install blackout curtains and keep them closed after a night shift.

  • Establish a Regular Bedtime Routine

A regular bedtime routine can help improve sleep quality significantly. You can practice good sleep hygiene by keeping the bedroom dark and quiet and establishing a time to wind down after work. If you find it difficult to relax straight after a shift, you can get yourself into bedtime mode with a soothing bath and calm music. In addition, studies show that body temperature plays a key role in sleep quality. Try to keep your bedroom cool for comfortable sleep.

  • Reduce Caffeine Intake

Cutting back on caffeine can reduce the impact it has when you finally want to fall asleep. At the very least, you should avoid caffeinated products at least four hours before you finish work.

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