Sleep is Essential for Health. Just like eating well and exercising, sleep is a behaviour that is foundational to one’s physical, mental, and social well-being. As we are getting ready for our next Human Factors training session, we are pausing for a moment to pinpoint the facts and figures about the importance of a good night sleep. Or… a good day sleep for those working night shifts.
When we sleep better we have more energy, we are more focused and our performance is better. Also, we are in a better mood when we are well rested and we laugh more, which is also very important!
Some of us have heard of SWSD – shift work sleep disorder that night shift workers suffer as they have trouble sleeping.
How can we sleep better if we work night shifts?
Practice good sleep hygiene – establish a regular bedtime routine and have your environment conducive to sleep, keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet.
Go straight to bed after work – As soon as your shift is over, make plans to go straight to bed. One way you can do that is to wear sunglasses on your way home, even on a cloudy day.
Caffeine in moderation – If you’re drinking caffeine to stay awake, try not to drink any within four hours of the end of your shift
Set boundaries – let people know what hours you’re working and when you will be sleeping, so they know when to leave you alone. Put your smartphone on “Do Not Disturb” mode.
Relax – before going to bed, consider a hot shower or bath, meditation, or another relaxing activity.