For anyone who has ever worked night shifts, either on a regular or shift basis, you know how difficult it is to adjust your schedule. Finding sleep during the day on the night shift just isn’t natural, thanks to factors like your body’s innate circadian rhythm fighting you along the way. Still, it’s important to get quality sleep, regardless of the time of day. So for all you night shift workers out there, we’ve compiled seven of our favorite ways to help you sleep better during the day.
Why sleep is important (especially after working the night shift)
While it may seem that the older you get the less sleep you need, that’s not quite true. Although you probably don’t need as much sleep as you did when you were a kid, even healthy adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night. And of course the same rule applies to adults who have to sleep during the day. Sleep is when our body goes to work absorbing information from the day before, recharging and healing.
It doesn’t matter what your profession is, if your job requires you to sleep during the day, that’s what you should do. Which can be problematic for your sleep quality and even your health, since humans are biologically wired to sleep at night through something called the circadian rhythm. So when it comes to altering your sleep schedule, it’s more important than ever to focus on developing healthy sleep habits.
Your circadian rhythm versus your homeostatic sleep drive
Your circadian rhythm and your homeostatic sleep drive are the two main systems that control and regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Circadian rhythms are impacted by things like changes in our environments and exposure to light. Evolutionarily, circadian rhythms use environmental cues to tell our bodies when to alter functions such as body temperature, hormone levels, and mental clarity.
Your homeostatic sleep drive, on the other hand, is the desire to sleep, which builds as pressure in your body the longer you are awake, and decreases as you sleep. Since your homeostatic sleep drive and circadian rhythm will naturally fight the change in your sleep schedule, it’s imperative that you doze off as much of your sleep shift as possible. By gradually staggering your sleeping and waking hours, you give your body a better chance of adjusting to atypical hours.
Regulate your circadian rhythm while working the night shift
The trick for regulate your circadian rhythm so you can sleep during the day during the night shift involves controlling light exposure, your caffeine levels and increasing the amount of melatonin in your body. Although there are a number of factors that can affect your circadian rhythm, most can’t be helped when you have to work night shifts. That’s why we’re going to focus on the factors you can change. We’ll dive deeper into all of this below.
So without further ado, here are our top seven ways to sleep better during the day while on the night shift.
Ease into your sleep shift
The easiest and most effective way to switch to daytime sleep during the night shift is to start adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before your first shift. And the best way to do that is to take your normal bedtime and wake up time and add an hour or two each day. So if you usually sleep from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., try going to bed at 1 a.m. and getting up at 8 a.m. the first day, then sleeping from 3 a.m. to 10 a.m. the next day, and so on.
By gradually changing your sleep schedule, rather than forcing everything all at once, you can best try to adjust your homeostatic sleep drive. Because syncing with your homeostatic sleep drive will also make it easier for your natural circadian rhythm to adapt to your new hours. While working at night and sleeping during the day will probably still feel pretty weird to you, a slow change will allow your mind and body to adapt better.
It can take up to seven or even ten days for your body to adjust to a new sleep schedule, depending on your circadian rhythm and homeostatic sleep. If this is your first time switching sleeps and you’re not sure how your body will react, don’t be afraid to give yourself a few extra days to transition into daytime sleep during the night shift.
Stick to a strict sleep schedule
Along with slowly changing your sleep schedule, once you hit your target sleep time, it’s essential that you stick to it, especially if your night shift is long. Because your body will naturally want to fight against the change in your circadian rhythm, stick to a strict sleep schedule can help you convince your mind and body that it’s time to go to bed even if it’s light outside.
A tighter sleep schedule will also help reconfigure your homeostatic sleep during night shifts, which in turn can make it a bit easier to change your circadian rhythm since the two work hand in hand.
Trick your brain into controlling light
Since our circadian rhythms are controlled by light, it stands to reason that you’ll sleep better during the day at night if you can avoid light as much as possible. So keep a pair of sunglasses in your car and go straight to your room when you get home. From there, all you have to do is avoid the temptation to turn on your TV or glance at your phone.
Blue light is one of the main culprits for lack of sleep and sleepless nights. So, as difficult as it may be, it’s important to practice self-control when it comes to lying in bed and answering text messages from friends or browsing your phone before falling asleep during sleep. daytime.
If you can ignore your phone, once you get home your most valuable weapons against the light will be your blackout curtains and eye mask. Both can suppress and even completely block light entering your bedroom windows. While some people find they can fall asleep with the light on with no problem, most people don’t work that way – and in fact, may even benefit from wearing an eye mask to sleep during sleep. night.
Set boundaries with friends and family
It may seem a little weird at first, but it’s important to let your friends and family know your sleep schedule so they don’t text, call, or bother you while you’re trying. to sleep during the day after working the night shift. . It may also be a good idea to let them know ahead of time that you will also not be responding to any texts or calls you received during your night shift until after You’re waking up. This way, you won’t feel bad avoiding your phone and ignoring anyone after your shift.
Depending on your situation, it will also stop your friends, family, or roommates from knocking on your door, letting themselves in while you’re sleeping, or, worst of all, trying to vacuum or do the dishes while you’re sleeping. you have trouble disconnecting them. Setting and sticking to boundaries, especially when it comes to your much-needed sleep, is an important part of any relationship.
CBD with melatonin can help reset your circadian rhythm
Melatonin is the secret VIP weapon when it comes to adjusting your schedule so you can sleep during the day on the night shift. As a hormone that helps your mind and body fall asleep, melatonin is what your body’s natural circadian rhythm automatically produces when the sun goes down. And while this is great for those with a normal sleep schedule, melatonin production doesn’t work the same way for those who need to sleep during the day.
Enter melatonin supplements, which help tell your mind and body that it’s time to sleep. And although regular melatonin supplements work very well, taking CBD with Melatonin adds an extra boost of calm and relaxation to your system. Combined with chamomile flower, valerian root and a host of other relaxing herbs, our CBD PM with melatonin helps your body calm down after work, no matter what time of day.
Just as your circadian rhythm is inspired by your environment, it also takes into account your melatonin levels to function properly.
Keep an eye on your caffeine intake
As anyone who’s worked 12 hours (or even eight hours) will tell you: caffeine is often the key to getting through a working day. But if you’re having trouble sleeping during the day, you’ll need to be stricter about when your last cup of coffee is. While caffeine is great for getting you started and keeping you awake, you need to make sure you don’t drink too much of it or drink it too late in your work day (or night).
Although everyone’s metabolism is different, the average half-life of caffeine in healthy adults is about five hours. Which means you’ll want to have your last cup of coffee or energy drink at least six hours before bed, just in case. Since caffeine usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour to kick in, if you’re very sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you may want to try drinking less during your shift or quitting earlier.
Go to sleep as soon as you get home
Last but not least, one of the best things you can do to train your body to sleep during the day on the night shift is to go to bed as soon as you get home. This will not only help you avoid bright light that will trick your brain into staying awake, but it can also help you keep your sleep schedule on track. And when your homeostatic sleep drive is on track, your circadian rhythm will soon follow.
For more information on how to sleep during the day while on night shift, or for additional tips on how CBD can help improve your sleep quality, check out our frequently updated article. Blog. Want to stay up to date with the latest supplement news and upcoming special offers from CBDMD? Join us on Facebook, instagramand TwitterWhere chat with someone live today!