Due to our current 24-hour culture, Filipinos work full-time nights, evenings, rotating shifts, or other such irregular hours. One of the most challenging things about working on a graveyard shift is how to sleep in the morning after the night shift.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 20% of the workers in industrialized nations work in non-traditional working hours. People who work at night may not be able to take the regular nap that most daytime employees take for granted if they work nights or irregular shifts.
What could be the effect of this in our body? According to Wesley Elon Fleming, MD, clinical assistant professor at Loma Linda University and head of the Sleep Center Orange County in Southern California, shift workers who lack sleep frequently become agitated or sad and memory and focus can be affected. Additionally, their social life and relationships may deteriorate. Shift workers may also have health issues, according to studies. Overall, persons who work nights or shift work appear to be more susceptible to heart disease, metabolic syndrome, ulcers, and insulin resistance.
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What are the Benefits of Having a Good Quality Sleep?
Here are the different benefits of having a good quality sleep:
- It improves and maintains your Intelligence, mood, and overall health,
- It helps boost your metabolism
- It strengthens your immune system
- You are less likely to get diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure
How to Sleep Better in the Morning after a Night Shift?
Pay particular attention to your sleep if your employment demands you to work the night shift or other hours besides the standard 9 to 5. Here are some hacks on how to get that quality sleep in the morning after the night shift:
1. Establish a bedtime routine
You may train your body and mind to recognize when it’s time to go to bed by repeating a regular pattern. Take a deep breath and turn off all of your electronics to make sure you have a peaceful, stress-free, and enjoyable time for yourself. You may also take just an hour to unwind each day. This will help you relax and prepare for a sound night’s sleep.
2. Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing can be used as meditation to calm the mind and to soothe the central nervous system. When you are resting in bed, you can practice deep breathing. Avoid getting up during or after because doing so will stimulate your body once more.
3. Set your work boundaries
You’ll feel better mentally and sleep better and deeper if you can control your work stress and strike the perfect balance. Being under a lot of stress can drastically interfere with your sleep and negatively impact your mental health, so it’s important to understand how to put your work behind when you are already preparing for sleep.
4. Exercise your body but not before bedtime
Working at night and finding time to exercise is very challenging. Regular exercise, however, has been shown to promote deeper, more restful sleep. It’s vital to remember that exercising three hours before night can actually make it harder for you to fall asleep since it causes your body to produce more adrenaline. Here are some recommendations:
● using a bicycle to go to work
● increasing your step count by getting off the bus or parking a few streets away
● enrolling in a fitness class, such as spinning or salsa
5. Get plenty of light during working hours
You can support your body’s natural circadian rhythm throughout your night shift by exposing yourself to as much light as you can. When working a night shift, refrain from turning off the office lights or reducing the screen brightness on your devices. You can fool your body into thinking it is naturally experiencing the day-night cycle by exposing yourself to as much light as you can while working a night shift.
Use bright lights during your shift or get a light treatment box if, by the time your shift is over, you are naturally exhausted and ready to sleep. Your body and mind may feel more awake during your night shift if you use a light box that is intended to emit light that resembles the sun. This will then teach your body how to sleep in the morning after your night shift.
6. Minimize light exposure before bedtime
While traveling home, avoid using your electronics, or at least restrict your exposure to them. There is now a built-in “night mode” on most phones and portable electronics that can help you reduce the amount of blue light you are exposed to. A lousy night’s sleep might be just as detrimental as none at all. It’s crucial to maintain your sleeping space free from distractions. Avoid checking Facebook while in bed. Eye strain, headaches, and difficulty falling asleep can all result from staring at a bright light in the dark. Sleep disruptions result in the condition known as “sleep debt,” which is the accumulation of lost sleep hours and causes physical and mental exhaustion. Set your phone to “do not disturb” or “totally off” and put it away from your bed.
Knowing that light has a significant impact on our bodies and minds is vital when returning after a night shift. Wearing dark sunglasses or specific blue-light-blocking eyewear will help you achieve low light exposure. You may also block sunlight with blackout shutters or thick drapes.
7. Monitor your diet
When the daily routine is out of balance, metabolism follows. Due to poor diet and disruption of the body clock, night shift workers are more prone to develop metabolic syndrome and have a 23 percent increased risk of being overweight or obese. For night workers, finding a grocery shop and suitable kitchen facilities can be difficult. To ensure that you eat correctly and remain alert, you should be prepared and bring food to work.
Try to stick to consistent eating habits, and maintain the same routine that you would use throughout the day. Here are some suggestions:
● Consume little and frequently: Small, frequent meals or nutritious snacks help prevent the sleepiness brought on by large, frequent meals.
● Pick foods that are simple to digest, like bread, rice, pasta, salad, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.
● Avoid foods that are challenging to digest, such as processed, fried, and spicy foods.
● Avoid sugary foods since they may give you a temporary energy boost, but that spike will disappear rapidly. Snack on fruits and vegetables because they are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, as well as sugars that are slowly turned into energy.
● Be sure to drink enough of water. Avoid filling up your bladder too much before night while trying to improve both your physical and mental function.
8. Use caffeine wisely
Caffeine consumption should be decreased to assist you get a restful night’s sleep. Avoid consuming caffeine if you need it to stay awake so your body has time to digest it four hours after your shift ends.
9. Avoid smoking before bed
According to research, smokers not only sleep less but also sleep less soundly. If at all possible, refrain from smoking three hours before night. This can very much help you sleep in the morning after your night shift since nicotine is a stimulant and is closely associated with issues with insomnia since it interferes with our normal sleep cycle and raises the chance of snoring.
Read Also: 5 Habits for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
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Written by MC Sanchez