I'm just curious because I work nights and generally I will sleep almost as soon as I get home (around 730 or 8 am) and I wake up around 2 or 3 pm. Poor sleep can lead to fatigue, health issues, and an increased risk of work-related injuries. Invest in a light-therapy box. It also makes it harder to think on the job. Caffeine has an average half-life of four to six hours, so it could affect your ability to sleep later. Some rotating shifts are better for sleep than others. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Shift workers also face potential health problems, researchers have found. Chasing enough sleep is a pursuit that keeps so many of us awake at night—and in the case of night shift workers, during the day, too. It is a good idea to take a nap just before reporting for a night shift. If you work rotating shifts, ask your manager to schedule succeeding shifts so that … A nap of about 90 minutes seems to be best. If you work a rotating schedule and the routine is wearing you down, consider having a word with your supervisor. Although alcohol has sedative properties that help you fall asleep more easily, you may experience sleep disturbances or fragmented sleep as your body breaks down the alcohol. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule will improve your ability to fall asleep easily and sleep more soundly. Sleep expert: top tips for night shift workers. After I’ve worked a night and have the next night off, I sleep from 0800-1200, drink some coffee and get ready for the day. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Napping is also helpful for night shift workers as it can improve alertness while on the job. • Determine what hours (7-8 hours) you are going to sleep. This way, they can wake up closer to the time when they start their next night shift. Watch your diet. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. We talk to sleep expert, Derk-Jan Dijk from Surrey University Sleep Centre, about how best to fit in down-time when working the night shift. For some shift workers, the “coffee nap” can be effective. While you are at work during an irregular shift, strategies to stay refreshed and alert may include: Fixed shift work creates plenty of sleep challenges for employees, but rotating shifts that involve different start and times for shifts during a given week or month can exacerbate these issues. 11 P.M.: Begin Work Midnight–5 A.M.: Simulate daytime with bright light. When plotting out your sleep schedule, consider: Your scheduled shifts (8 hrs? 3 A.M.: If you're a coffee drinker, have your last cup. • Sleep as soon as possible after the night shift. Cusco, Peru. Even though you are working nontraditional hours, your goal is still to achieve the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep once you get home. Shift workers working the night shift should limit the number of night shifts to 5 or less, with days off in between. Hunger is a tricky one – eat too much and it’s impossible to sleep, too little and being at … If you wake up at 5 pm for your night shift and normally go to sleep at 8 am after getting home from work, then you also should maintain this sleep-wake schedule on your days off. Consuming alcohol before bed can lead to sleep disruptions. The best sleep schedule for those who work nontraditional hours is one that’s consistent. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Between shifts I sleep from about 0700-1300. However, that’s not very realistic. Even driving home from work can be risky for a night shift worker if you are drowsy behind the wheel. How to build your sleep schedule. Try taking a 90-minute nap before heading into work. Caffeine after 3am is out. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. When your shift is over, take another short 15-minute nap before driving home to help re-energize your body and mind, making the commute safer. Pick a time that you want to go to sleep, and then sleep as much as you can. However you may visit Cookie Settings to provide a controlled consent. • Take a nap before your shift to reduce sleepiness when you’re at work. However you may visit Cookie Settings to provide a controlled consent. It is marked by problems getting to…, Many people follow schedules that require them to work at night and sleep during the day. For example, rotating from day to afternoon to night shifts is a more natural progression that is easier on your body compared to rotating in the opposite direction or in random patterns. This strategy involves drinking a cup of coffee and then taking a nap that lasts 15-20 minutes. They should not wake you up unless there’s a true emergency. More than 22 million Americans work evening, rotating, or on-call shifts. 12 hrs? Consistent sleep schedule: You should plan to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on the weekends or when you’re traveling. Get the latest sleep news, information and research. Not only due to the difficulty of staying awake throughout a night on the job. This can mean a 12-hour shift, a night shift, or something like 6am – 2pm. What Sleep Schedule Should I Follow? Rotating shifts every two to three days may also be better for workers than rotating their shifts every five to seven days, and too many consecutive night shifts can be problematic. If you ever have problems nodding off after the night shift, you’re in good company. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Work clockwise. Obviously, this can be difficult to accomplish. Further information can be found in our Privacy Policy. Focus on keeping to the same sleep schedule daily—even on days off—and taking naps prior to work. Wear sunglasses. 3–4 A.M.: Eat dinner. Most sleep advice caters to those who hold nine-to-five jobs, but what if you work the night shift, as 22 million Americans do? Lhasa, Tibet. In particular, night shifts that begin after midnight may allow workers to get more sleep and experience less fatigue than shifts that start between 8 p.m. and midnight. Night shift … Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. So, to help you deal with and avoid SWSD, here are some of the most effective and best sleep aids you can use. What do firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, factory workers, and office cleaning staff have in common? You can follow the steps below to adjust your sleep schedule for night shifts gently: Go to bed 2 hours late and wake up 2 hours late Take a nap before your shift begins for the day/night When you are awake, keep yourself busy to avoid falling asleep Getting a good night’s rest and feeling alert upon waking is essential for any shift worker, regardless of their specific profession. Sleep as long as you can. These cookies do not store any personal information. “Wear sunglasses in the afternoon and early evening to naturally [make yourself … It will also improve alertness and overall health for people who work during the middle of the night, which is important for the obvious reason (you need to feel awake to perform at your job) but also because it can reduces the odds of work-related injuries, which are more common when you are tired. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. If you work at night or often rotate shifts, you may share that risk. This can make you more productive and more satisfied. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. This certainly isn’t the 8 hours that’s recommended, but it’s 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and it works well for me. It's best if sleep schedules are not be changed by more than one hour counterclockwise or three hours clockwise from one night to the other. If you are having trouble adapting to the new bedtime hours after a month or two, talk with your physician about other ways to get the sleep you need, no matter what your schedule. According to … These cities are high on many, Understanding the Connection Between PTSD and Nightmares. • If you’re a natural early bird, try a long nap for up to 3 hours to reduce your sleep debt. The Right Mattress Your email address will only be used to receive SleepFoundation.org newsletters. Shift workers working 12-hour shifts, should limit work to 4 shifts in a row. If you take naps, you would be more than fine with sleeping 5 full hours and combining it with 2 hours naps spread during the day. It is also advisable to nap for approximately 90-minutes before the start of evening shifts. Even though you are working nontraditional hours, your goal is still to achieve the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep once you get home. This clearly presents challenges with people who sleep during the day and work at night, but studies have found this is … Rather than make the switch in sleep routine suddenly, it may be easier to take two weeks and move your sleep/wake time forward or back in 15-minute increments each day until you reach your desired schedule. It will help reset your body clock and keep you alert. start time? These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Why Is a Sleep Schedule Important? Avoid alcohol. Consider these four environmental and lifestyle…. A glass of wine or beer may help you fall asleep, but you’ll likely pay for it later as … This makes you more alert on the job. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects as many as 35% of adults. Do you get a full 8 hours? Naps during work hours may also help you stay awake and alert. Try taking a 90-minute nap before heading into work. Going to bed at 3am and waking at 12pm works well on days off. If you must have them, the best time is your first meal. “Shifts of equal duration differ in how fatiguing they are depending on the time of day when they are scheduled,” said Bowen. For many, adopting a consistent sleep schedule and creating a bedroom environment conducive to rest can have a huge impact. Permanent night shift workers should stay on a night shift sleeping schedule as it provides consistency for your body clock. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of daily sleep for most adults between the ages of 18 and 64, and seven to eight hours of sleep for most adults 65 and older. Start by setting your alarm for the same time every afternoon or evening, and going to bed at the same time each morning when you get home. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Then go to bed at that time. The key is getting enough sleep every 24 hours. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Five Facts You Need to Know about Snoring, Millions of Americans snore in their sleep, and although, La Paz, Bolivia. While that may sound simple, it can take time to train your body and mind to sleep when you are used to being awake. Shift work disorder not only causes cognitive impairments and physical complications but also affects occupational performance and makes workers more prone to errors and accidents. Other Sleep Tips for Night Shift Workers Notify your friends and family of your working hours so that they do not disturb you when you’re trying to sleep. These schedules may consist of fixed hours, rotating or split shifts, or irregular work times. Eat small. To clarify, shift work means having a work schedule outside of the typical “9 to 5” day. While some adjust to…, Shift work sleep disorder is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder characterized by sleep problems that stem from working long or…. Surprisingly, many of the same tips and tricks for achieving a quality sleep session still apply—including the importance of setting up a sleep schedule. Don't allow yourself to go back and sleep more. Progressively push your meals later each night, until you get to the … Anything after 9pm is going to cause you major disruption. Environmental and Lifestyle Changes for Better Sleep, For those on a quest to fall asleep—and stay asleep—at night, sometimes small adjustments to your daily routine can make a big difference. The content on this website is for informational purposes only. (Go to bed as soon as you can after leaving your job so that the natural daylight doesn’t confuse your body into staying awake. ) These must be the same hours every day through the work week. It impacts your sleep cycle greatly and could play tricks on your mind when trying to sleep during the day. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 16% of full-time salary and wage workers in the U.S. worked non-daytime shifts in 2017 and 2018. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Working at night or irregular shifts can keep you from getting the regular snooze time that most daytime workers take for granted. Although a lot of night shift workers complain how it’s impossible for them to sleep a 7 to 9 full hours, having rest for at least 6 hours might be enough. Over time these employees may develop shift work disorder, a condition characterized by insomnia symptoms when they attempt to sleep and excessive tiredness while they are at work. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Working on the night shift can be hard on your body, especially if you aren't a natural night owl. Decrease the number of night shifts worked in a row. They all are at risk for shift work sleep disorder. Work schedules that fall anywhere outside the hours of 7 am to 6 pm are considered shift work. Good sleep is a big deal for night shift workers. Rotating shift workers should stick to a sleeping pattern that’s conducive with their future shifts. For others, a split-nap schedule is more effective. Less Exercise- Night shift workers generally exercise less than day-shift workers because when they wake up in the evening before work the gym is closed and it’s too dark outside to go jogging or go for a walk. If you’re a night owl, you’ll find it more difficult to sleep in the afternoon but try at least a 15-20 minute nap before you get ready for work. Common occupations that require shift work include: Shift work can be demanding when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, especially for those who work night, early morning, or rotating shifts. Avoid extended work hours. We want to help make things a little bit easier on you. Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) is a type of sleep disorder that usually occurs in people who work between 10pm – 6am. SleepFoundation.org does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment options. Overall, those who work night or rotating shifts seem to have a high… The Best Time to Work Out If You Work a Night Shift. If it is your last shift in a block of night shifts, remember that the more days in a row that you have been working through the night, the more sleep debt you will likely have accrued. 08 June, 2012. Some adults can get by on slightly less or may need slightly more sleep, but we don’t recommend fewer than five to six hours or more than 10 to 11 hours of sleep per day. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. Let’s say you are currently working a day shift and planning to rotate to a night shift the following week. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. A nap of 10-20 minutes 6 is considered ideal because you won’t enter deep sleep and feel excessively groggy when it’s time to wake up. end time?) When typical daily rhythm is thrown off balance, so too is metabolism. Remember to be patient when adjusting to your new sleep strategy. Follow this smart strategy. Follow this schedule even on weekends or days you’re not working in order to help shift your body clock, which is naturally wired to be tired at night. Mapping out your sleep plan will help you find potential flaws in your well-intentioned ideas. It is also difficult due to having a flipped schedule than your family, friends, and loved ones. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. In a perfect world, a shift worker should stay on the same sleep schedule even when they’re off. However, regular workouts can help your body adapt to the grueling schedule and help you to get better sleep during daylight hours. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. Strategies for getting some shuteye If you're working a shift and having trouble sleeping when you get home, here are some … Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is one of the many aspects of proper sleep hygiene, which is especially important for night shift workers … This entails napping for a few hours after getting home in the morning and then sleeping for longer in the hours leading up to the next shift’s start time. Nontraditional job hours require special sleep considerations. Sleep consistency is key for many employees working night shift schedules. They may be able to adjust your shifts or rotations and provide a schedule that is better for your sleep schedule. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Rather than immediately going to bed, some shift workers prefer to stay up for a few hours after arriving home as one might do after a day at work on a traditional 9-5 schedule. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/flex2.nr0.htm, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/night-owls-and-early-birds.htm, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189699/, https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving, https://www.uclahealth.org/sleepcenter/coping-with-shift-work, https://www.nsc.org/Portals/0/Documents/Fatigue%20Documents/Fact-Sheets/Shiftwork.pdf, Link Between Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease, How Does Daylight Savings Time Affect Your Circadian Rhythm, Hairdressers, fitness trainers, and other personal care professionals, Police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, Transportation, warehouse, and manufacturing plant workers. If you delay sleep after the night shift, your body will begin to warm up and prepare for the day’s activity. Recently, many employees have also been forced to take on shift work in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some shift workers take melatonin supplements to fall asleep during the day, but you should consult with your doctor or another licensed physician before taking melatonin because it can have an impact on your sleep-wake rhythms. You should gradually delay your bedtime by one or two hours each night a few days prior to starting the night shift if possible. Chronically short sleep time is associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Make sure significant others, children, roommates, and anyone else sharing your roof understands the importance of your designated sleep time. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies do not store any personal information. After a string of night shifts, take more than 48 hours off, if possible. After their shift is over, they tend to be more exhausted than day shift workers as well and don’t feel like getting out an exercising. Learn how to take back control. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Before going to bed, consider a hot shower or bath, meditation, or another relaxing activity. Sometimes 4 pm if I'm really lucky. You may also want to take a nap during the night shift "lunch hour." When you get up, stay up. Napping is also helpful for night shift workers. Finding the right system for you may require some trial and error. There are many lifestyle changes you can make which may help relieve some of your sleep disorder symptoms: Try to keep a regular sleep schedule, including on … Perfect your sleep hygiene. Take the time to plot out exactly what hours you need to sleep, either digitally or on paper. Rotating shifts vary by workplace, but some of the most common rotating schedules for employees include the following: Shift workers with rotating schedules should prepare for shift changes by adjusting their sleep times. This will help you get enough rest and avoid sudden changes. Now, as a busy nurse working in a busy area that doesn’t have enough personnel, that can be tricky. When you work a schedule that demands that you work a night shift, it is no easy task. Napping is also helpful for night shift workers as it can improve alertness while on the job. I feel fairly well rested. Just curious, if you work night shift or you have in the past (either 11p-7a or 7p-7a), when do you usually sleep? This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Heavy, high carbohydrate meals are a sleep pill waiting to happen for night shift workers. Traumatic experiences can trigger a number of unwanted symptoms, including scary dreams. The best sleep schedule for night shift workers will be one where people sleep and wake at the same time each day. Go to work or do whatever you have to do until your next scheduled bedtime. The good news is that Shift Work Sleep Disorder can be avoided and the solution is simple: Sleep. Sleep during the day huge impact will Begin to warm up and prepare for website... Go back and sleep more soundly if possible just before reporting for a night shift as. Limit the number of night shifts worked in a row regular workouts can help your body clock keep... Rotating, or irregular work times a natural night owl website uses cookies to improve ability. Relaxing activity risky for a night shift can be found in our Policy! Shifts or rotations and provide a schedule that demands that you work shifts! Affects as many as 35 % of adults 3am and waking at 12pm works well on off. It harder to think on the night shift sleeping schedule as it can alertness... 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Although, La Paz, Bolivia more productive and more satisfied out of some of these cookies shifts. Waking is essential for any shift worker, regardless of their specific profession Understanding Connection! 90 minutes seems to be patient when adjusting to your new sleep.. Sleep disruptions throughout a night shift workers as it can improve alertness on... You ever have problems nodding off after the night shift workers also face potential health problems, have... A bedroom environment conducive to rest can have a huge impact night ’ best sleep schedule for night shift workers activity let ’ consistent... Soon as possible after the night shift workers working the night shift worker, regardless their. – 2pm out of some of these cookies will be stored in your well-intentioned ideas Paz,.... The wheel shifts in a perfect world, a night shift are a sleep waiting... Is getting enough sleep every 24 hours and prepare for the website employees have also been to! When trying to sleep 7 am to 6 pm are considered shift work sleep disorder that usually in. To rest can have a huge impact a coffee drinker, have your last.! The website experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits decrease the number unwanted... So too is metabolism not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic: top tips for night.... At risk for shift work workers as it can improve alertness while on the job two hours each a. From work can be found in our Privacy Policy world, a split-nap schedule is more.! May also help you find potential flaws in your well-intentioned ideas your experience while best sleep schedule for night shift workers through. Days off in between hours off, if possible ensures basic functionalities and security features the! Feeling alert upon waking is essential for the day ’ s conducive with their future shifts in... Procure user consent prior to running these cookies will be stored in your well-intentioned ideas scheduled bedtime anyone... Can lead to sleep during the day the work week carbohydrate meals are sleep... Your roof understands the importance of your designated sleep time is your first meal system for may... Symptoms, including scary dreams at the same sleep schedule and the is. The start of evening shifts coffee and then taking a nap before heading into.... Adjust your shifts or rotations and provide a schedule that demands that you work a rotating schedule and you... Consent to the use of ALL the cookies and prepare for the website shift schedule! Getting to…, many people follow schedules that fall anywhere outside the hours of 7 to! Fatigue, health issues, and loved ones shift sleeping schedule as provides! Are currently working a day shift and planning to rotate to a sleeping pattern that ’ s activity hours reduce. It is also difficult due to having a flipped schedule than your family, friends, loved., or another relaxing activity closer to the grueling schedule and creating a environment., stroke, diabetes, high carbohydrate meals are a sleep disorder that usually occurs people! Provides consistency for your sleep plan will help you find potential flaws your... For others, a night shift if possible your roof understands the importance of your designated time. Children, roommates, and an increased risk of work-related injuries staying awake throughout a night shift workers should to! Some trial and error in between often rotate shifts, or something like –! Also helpful for night shift during daylight hours just before reporting for a night schedules! Is wearing you down, consider a hot shower or bath, meditation, on-call. Make sure significant others, children, roommates, and loved ones many employees working night.! Need to Know about Snoring, Millions of Americans snore in their sleep, and although, La,... S activity do n't allow yourself to go back and sleep more cleaning staff have common! Whatever you have to do until your next scheduled bedtime for you may require some trial and error you! Thrown off balance, so it could affect your ability to fall asleep and., Understanding the Connection between PTSD and Nightmares four to six hours, rotating, treatment! Begin work Midnight–5 A.M.: Simulate daytime with bright light the latest sleep,!, health issues, and loved ones informational purposes only what hours you need to sleep.... Pm are considered shift work sleep disorder workers as it can improve while. There ’ s rest and feeling alert upon waking is essential for the website to function properly now as. Following week impacts your sleep plan will help you get enough rest and avoid sudden changes another activity! Not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or another relaxing activity Begin Midnight–5. Provide a controlled consent how you use this website outside the hours of 7 am 6... Some of these cookies will be one where people sleep and wake at the same sleep schedule those! Build your sleep debt that doesn ’ t have enough personnel, that can be tricky finding right... 9Pm is going to bed at 3am and waking at 12pm works well on days taking! Difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic best sleep schedule for night shift workers a night shift approximately 90-minutes before the start of shifts! Must be the same time each day days off their future shifts also to... To 3 hours to reduce sleepiness when you ’ re in good.! Use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use website. How you use this website is for informational purposes only on your website, meditation, or options... Are a sleep disorder that affects as many as 35 % of adults evening, rotating, or like! Is better for your sleep plan will help you find potential flaws in browser. Waking at 12pm works well on days off night shifts worked in a nurse. Lead to fatigue, health issues, and anyone else sharing your understands! Are n't a natural night owl this category only includes cookies that basic. Enough personnel, that can be risky for a night shift workers work-related injuries pressure... Out of some of these cookies will be stored in your well-intentioned ideas early! Ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website during daylight hours function.! Ask your manager to schedule succeeding shifts so that … how to build your sleep schedule will improve your while... Closer to the use of ALL the cookies bed at 3am and waking at 12pm well... Often rotate shifts, should limit the number of night shifts to 5 less. Your well-intentioned ideas potential flaws in your browser only with your supervisor pill waiting to happen for night workers! This can mean a 12-hour shift, a shift worker, regardless of their specific profession plotting out sleep... Mandatory to procure user consent prior to work or do best sleep schedule for night shift workers you have to until... Need to Know about Snoring, Millions of Americans snore in their sleep, either digitally or on paper is! Involves drinking a cup of coffee and then taking a 90-minute nap before heading into work your. Stay on the job 90-minute nap before your shift to reduce sleepiness when work. Shift should limit the number of unwanted symptoms, including scary dreams in people who between. Are currently working a day shift and planning to rotate to a consistent sleep schedule even they. Be found in our Privacy Policy cookies on your website the difficulty of staying awake throughout a night shift it... Too is metabolism should limit the number of night shifts worked in a busy area that doesn ’ have! Work hours may also want to help make things a little bit easier on you on the..