Do you know, approx. 1 in 5 people work during the shifts i.e., the evening or night, or in early morning hours? Some are “night owls” and adjust easily, however, there are some who feel sleepy during working hours. But many people (who’re a part of rotational shifts) feel sleepy during work time or are unable to sleep between work shifts. This is called shift work disorder. It can lead to accidents, mistakes at work, and moodiness or being irritable.
In this article, we will help you know how you can survive working in shifts.
What Can You Do To Sleep Better?
Here are some of the things that you must follow to get sound sleep:
- Get regular exercise and eat healthy diet.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine close to bedtime.
- Make your bedroom cool, quiet, and comfortable.
- Use your bedroom only for sleeping and sexual activity.
- Turn off or cover bright lights such as from the TV, LEDS, and Computer etc. prior half an hour going to bed.
- Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule.
You can also opt for these additional tips to sleep better between your shifts:
- You can use earplugs and an eye mask to block out noise and light.
- You can place heavy curtains or blinds over doors and windows to block out sunlight.
- Make sure to wear sunglasses on your way home from work to avoid exposure to bright light.
- Let other people know about your schedule. Ask them to keep the noise down and not wake you from sleep if possible.
You can also take melatonin to help you sleep. Melatonin is a chemical that your body makes while sleeping. As you work in night, your body may not make enough of melatonin. To meet your melatonin needs, you can buy melatonin without a prescription. Make sure to ask your pharmacist or heath care provider to help you choose a product and for advice on how to take it.
Check with your prescriber if you still have trouble sleeping. Your doctor may ask you to keep a track on your sleep schedule and may also recommend you some prescription medicines for better sleep.
What Can You Do To Feel Awake And Alert At Work?
Getting enough sleep is the key to feel awake and alert at work. Here are some other things that can help you stay alert at your work.
- Aim to get minimum of eight hours of sleep each day.
- You can also take a short nap during your break at workplace.
- You can try an activity such as taking a walk during your break.
- Take some caffeine when you feel sleepy. But don’t overdo it. Too much of coffee can make you feel jittery and anxious. Moreover, make sure to avoid caffeine within four hours of your bedtime since it might keep you from getting the rest you need.
- Try to keep the lights bright in your work area, especially at the beginning of a shift to prevent sleepiness.
If you’re still having trouble staying awake and alert at work, contact your prescriber. There might be a prescription medicine that will help you.