Tips for Decreasing the Effects of Shift Work Sleep Disorder
The best strategy for decreasing the effects of shift work sleep disorder is getting a good night’s rest. While this may be easier said than done, it’s important to employ numerous different strategies until you reach your optimal level of sleep. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Don’t work several night shifts in a row. It makes you more likely to become sleep deprived and is harder to recover from.
- Avoid working prolonged shifts and extended work hours. Overtime is good every now and then, but if you are consistently working 12 hour shifts, your mind and body will be exhausted.
- Avoid long commutes—that time could be better spent sleeping.
- Don’t accept frequently rotating shifts, it makes it harder to acclimate to your schedule.
- Plan your sleep schedules wisely and avoid snacks before bed, especially sugars and carbs. Those types of foods will increase your blood sugar, which can obstruct sleep.
- Eat a high-protein snack a few hours before you plan to sleep. It will help aid in the production of melatonin—the body’s sleep aid chemical.
If you are still having a hard time sleeping, try removing all noise and light from the room. Purchase a set of blackout blinds and use eye masks and earplugs if necessary.
Although these solutions may not fix the sleeping issue completely, it will at least encourage better sleeping habits. If you continue to suffer from severe lack of sleep, contact your doctor so they can look into other solutions that may work better for you.