Sleep hygiene refers to all the positive habits we use to increase our chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Improving sleep hygiene is one of the first things you can do to treat insomnia. In addition to regular sleep hygiene, as a shift worker, you can make changes to your sleep hygiene. These things may sound small, but they can make a difference in the world.
Relax before bed
No matter how long you go to bed, it’s important to take some time to relax before bed. Take 20 minutes to half an hour before bed to relax. For example, you can read a book, listen to relaxing music, meditate, or take a shower.
During this time, turn off electronic devices such as televisions and telephones as they emit blue light which can make you feel more alert. You should also avoid stressful conversations or planning the next day during this time. Focus on doing your best to keep your body and mind at ease.
Make your bedroom just for relaxation
Your brain needs to make a connection between the bedroom and sleep so that every time you enter the bedroom, you automatically enter a relaxed state at any time of the day. You can do this by saving your bedroom for sleep, relaxation, and sex only. Avoid anything stressful or stimulating in the bedroom, such as TV or something work-related.
To maintain this relationship, you should not lie in bed too long. If you can’t sleep or wake up at night, get up in about 20 minutes. If possible, go to a quiet, dark room (even during the day) and do something relaxing like reading a book until you feel tired again. If you feel tired, you can go back to bed and try to get back to sleep.
Make your bedroom comfortable
You need to make your bedroom as comfortable as possible to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. You can do this by making sure you have a good bed and mattress, and making sure you have comfortable blankets and pillows. The temperature in your bedroom is also important. The optimal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you feel too hot or too cold, you will most likely have trouble sleeping.
Turn off stimulants before bed
If possible, try to eliminate stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine within a few hours of going to bed, no matter what time it is. They can make you feel awake and make it harder to fall asleep. You should also avoid alcohol before bed, as it can have the same effect.
Exercise during your waking hours
Exercising upon waking (including at night) can help regulate our internal clock and leave our bodies and minds tired enough to sleep. This may be the last thing you want to do while on the night shift, but even 20 minutes of light exercise can help.
Make your bedroom as dark as possible
If you sleep well, it’s even more important to make the bedroom as bright as possible. Daytime will make your brain feel awake, so you have to “lie” to think it’s night. A practical way to do this is with blinds or blinds. Or, you can use a sleeping mask that covers your eyes to remove all the light. You can also use the dim lights in the bedroom before going to bed to relax.
Noise can wake us up no matter what time of day or night we try to fall asleep. If you try to sleep during the day, there will likely be more noise around you. You can reduce this in practice by using earplugs to block out noise. You can also invest in double glazing to block out outside noise. It is important to talk to other people in your household and explain the importance of sleep so you can ask them to reduce noise when you are trying to rest.
Naps can help you feel more awake during your shift, whether it’s early in the morning, late at night, or at night. Think about taking a quick nap before your shift to energize you. If possible, you can also take a nap during the holidays or have lunch.
Also, if you are unwilling and a bit odd to eat at different times of the day and night, try your best to eat with regular meals as you would during the day. This helps you adjust your internal clock and gives you the energy you need to function during your shift.
Wear Cooling glasses when you work from home
If you come home from work during the day, you can wear sunglasses on your way home to block out the light and prepare your mind for sleep.
Consider light therapy
Light therapy uses a lightbox that creates an intense amount of bright light. It is safe and is often done under the guidance of a doctor. Light can help you regulate your circadian rhythm in the same way that sunlight can help you develop more adequate sleep patterns.
How to deal with your insomnia?
If you are feeling severely affected by insomnia at work, the first thing you have to decide is whether you want to give up. This is a very personal decision and you need to take your time. If you feel you have a good relationship with your boss and he or she shows understanding, it can be helpful to open up to what you’re going through. You can also choose to be open with your coworkers.
Being open-minded can make your workplace more insightful and flexible, making you less likely to run into problems due to lower productivity. They can also take steps to help you find a treatment or cope with the job. Your employer must look after all aspects of your health. It’s also important to remember that insomnia is very common and you are not alone: you have nothing to be ashamed of.
If you decide to find out, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for dealing with your insomnia. This conveys to your boss that you are a practical person. However, if you are unsure of yourself to disclose this at work, then you should not feel compelled to do so. You can use the other steps we are going to discuss to deal with your insomnia and get things back on track
Improve sleep hygiene at home
Just as we discuss shift work, sleep hygiene can be good for all of us. This should be one of the first steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep. This can include steps such as:
Make your bedroom comfortable
Maintain a regular sleep and wake schedule
Take care of your bedroom to relax
Relaxation before bed
Reduce or avoid naps during the day if you can’t sleep at night
Cut stimulants before bed
Do exercise during the day
Go outside in natural light to set your body clock
Be careful what you eat and drink near the bed
You need to break bad sleep hygiene habits and replace them with healthier coping strategies: these can make a big difference in managing insomnia. However, if you’ve improved your sleep hygiene and are still having problems, it’s a good idea to seek treatment.
There are several treatments for insomnia: we will discuss the main lines of treatment, namely the most recommended. You can access treatment through a referral from your doctor, in person, or through Insomnia Treatment online.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i)
CBT-i is the main line of treatment for insomnia. Therapy focuses on changing negative or useless thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to insomnia. Instead, you learn to replace them with useful, productive thoughts and behaviors that will help you get the sleep you need. The National Sleep Foundation explains, “CBT aims to change sleep habits and planning factors, as well as misconceptions about sleep and insomnia that continue to make it difficult to fall asleep.”
There are several different methods used with CBT-i to achieve this goal, all of which are safe and highly effective. CBT-i is meant to give you the tools to combat sleep problems in the long term, so you can continue to find restful sleep even with future stress or hardship.
Acceptance and Attachment Therapy (ACT)
ACT emphasizes accepting your feelings and moods as they are, rather than trying to change them. Therapy teaches you that thoughts should not lead to behavior. This is especially useful for those who feel more stressed and anxious when they can’t sleep. This feeling of fear only perpetuates insomnia and often leads to useless coping strategies.
In contrast, the ACT teaches you that negative thoughts and feelings can be experienced without judgment. The goal is to reduce stress related to lack of sleep. Therapy then guides you through positive and helpful coping behaviors to help you get the sleep you need.
Mindfulness focuses on relaxation techniques that will help you achieve a state of calm. Instead of worrying about the past or the future, you stay in the present and allow yourself to experience it without judgment. This state of rest can be very helpful in dealing with stress and has been shown to help improve sleep quality. This can be done through mediation, guided visualization, or breathing exercises, for example. You can even practice gentleness in bed at night to help you fall asleep.