How to Get Better Sleep While Working Shift Work

Published: Last Updated: Feb 01, 2023

Working shift work can be incredibly tiring and disruptive to your life. It’s common for people working shift work to get low-quality sleep in comparison to everyone else, which can lead to health problems such as fatigue and stress. In this post, we look at the best advice for Australians who are working shift work and want to get better sleep.

how can shift workers get better sleep

Shift work refers to work schedules that involve working outside of the traditional 9am-5pm workday. Shift work is common in industries that operate 24/7, such as healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and customer service. Many people who work shift work are in jobs that require them to be on call or to work at odd hours, such as overnight or on weekends. Some examples of people who might work shift work include nurses, doctors, emergency responders, factory workers, truck drivers, and customer service representatives.

Get into a Routine

Establishing a sleep routine is one of the most important things you can do for your shift work-related sleep issues. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, regardless of when you’ve been working that day. This will help to create consistency in your body clock and help you get into a regular sleeping pattern. Additionally, try to avoid long naps during the day as they can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

Set Up Your Sleep Space

Creating an environment that’s conducive to sleep is also key if you want better quality rest when working shift work. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and comfortable – this means removing any electronics or distractions such as TV or phone screens from your bedroom before trying to fall asleep. You should also aim to keep your bedroom temperature cool since this helps improve the quality of your sleep. Additionally, investing in blackout curtains or blinds can ensure that even if you’re trying to sleep during daylight hours, there won’t be any distracting light shining through the windows.

Manage Stress Levels

Shift work often involves long hours with no breaks or vacation days which can cause considerable stress levels in workers over time. To ensure better sleep quality while working shift work, you must take steps to manage your stress levels throughout your shifts by taking regular breaks throughout the day and engaging in relaxation activities such as yoga or mindfulness exercises during those breaks. Additionally, talking regularly with family and friends about how you feel will help reduce stress levels and make it easier for you cope with any challenges associated with shift work over time.

Block Everything out

Shift work can be tough on the body, especially when it comes to getting enough sleep. Many shift workers find it difficult to fall asleep during the day or to stay asleep at night due to noise, light, or other disruptions. Sleep headphones can be a helpful tool for shift workers to get the rest they need.

Here's how sleep headphones can help shift workers get better sleep:

  1. Noise-blocking: Sleep headphones can block out noise from outside, such as traffic or other people, helping shift workers fall asleep and stay asleep during the day.
  2. Light-blocking: Some sleep headphones also have a light-blocking feature, which can help shift workers sleep during the day when it's light outside.
  3. Comfort: Sleep headphones are designed to be comfortable, so shift workers can wear them for long periods of time without discomfort.
  4. Convenience: Sleep headphones are portable and easy to use, so shift workers can take them with them wherever they go, whether they're working night shifts or trying to sleep during the day.

Think ahead about hydration

Shift workers, especially those working night shifts, often face the challenge of trying to sleep during the day while the world around them is bustling with activity. One way to improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep is to have a drink by your bedside.

Having a drink, such as water or a caffeine-free herbal tea, within arm's reach can help you avoid the need to get up and leave your dark, quiet sleep environment. This can be especially helpful if you're trying to catch some quick shut-eye during a break between shifts.

Not only does having a drink by your bedside make it easier for you to stay in your sleep environment, but it can also help to keep you hydrated and refreshed during your shift. Whether you're working a long night shift or just trying to get some rest during the day, having a drink by your bed can help you get the rest you need to stay alert and perform your best on the job.

Working shift work doesn’t have to mean sacrificing good quality sleep forever – there are plenty of steps Australians who are working shifts can take towards ensuring their bodies are getting adequate rest each night despite their irregular schedule! By following advice on setting up a regular sleeping routine, creating an environment conducive for restful slumber and managing stress levels effectively throughout shifts, Australians should find themselves getting better quality sleep on a more consistent basis – even while working shifts!