Shift workers have a tough time maintaining a healthy balance between work and sleep. Those scheduled to work night shift(밤알바) are particularly challenged as they try to reset their body clock for work, only to encounter a total disruption of their sleep pattern. With irregular sleep patterns, they are predisposed to suffering from sleep deprivation, with myriad negative consequences. In this blog post, we look at some tips and tricks on how to overcome sleep deprivation in night shifts.
Prioritize Your Sleep
To overcome sleep deprivation, you need to prioritize your sleep. Night shift workers should ensure they get enough sleep during the day by creating an ideal sleep environment. This begins by ensuring your bedroom is conducive for sound sleep. Create a dark environment by dimming lights and getting blackout shades. If you can’t get total darkness, consider getting a sleep mask. Dim your phone screen and turn off the notifications. Invest in comfortable bedding and keep the room quiet to minimize sleep disruption.
Be Mindful of Your Diet
What we eat can significantly affect our ability to have a peaceful and refreshing sleep. Night shift workers should eat nutritious food throughout their shift to maintain alertness and stay energized. Avoid highly processed and sugary food, as they can negatively affect your sleep. Instead, opt for balanced meals of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, avoid caffeine or nicotine intake six hours before sleeping, as it can affect your ability to rest.
Make Time for Relaxation
A few minutes of relaxation can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are major contributors to sleep deprivation. Take mini-breaks regularly during your shift to stretch and walk around. Incorporate short periods of deep breathing exercises or guided meditation. If possible, try to schedule a 10-minute break every few hours for relaxation.
Take Action on Sleep Disrupters
Some things can disrupt your sleep, especially if you work at night. These include light pollution and outside noise. Invest in blackout curtains to avoid light exposure. Earplugs or white noise machines work well to block outside noise sources like traffic or construction. Use essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or valerian root to help you relax and sleep.
Seek Professional Help If Needed
If you have trouble sleeping due to other issues like sleep apnea or insomnia, consider seeking the help of a professional. They can determine the appropriate treatment method or provide medication to help you sleep. Unlike over-the-counter remedies, professional therapy will help rectify underlying conditions, preventing further sleep disruptions.
Shift work, particularly night shifts, can negatively affect the quality of your sleep and leave you feeling exhausted. However, it’s possible to overcome sleep deprivation through simple techniques like prioritizing sleep, watching what you eat, and making time for relaxation. If you work the night shift and experience prolonged sleepiness during the day, try adopting some of the above tips. They will improve your sleep quality and energy levels, which can help you stay productive, focused, and healthy.