6 Sleep Tips for Shift Workers.

All aspects of life can be enhanced or diminished based on the quality of sleep you get. Shift work magnifies the chances of not getting the sleep you need. Emotions, physical energy and relationships can all suffer at the hands of sleep deprivation. The following are six tips to help you get the sleep you need to flourish on the swing shifts.

1. Setting Boundaries

The ability to create and maintain a set of boundaries is a skill set that translates well into the world of personal sleep. Establishing a set of rules that clearly defines the occasions in which family or friends can wake you during the day is a good place to start. Obviously, situations that can escalate into full-fledged emergencies are reason enough to disrupt a person’s sleep. Errand running or being a person’s personal chauffeur are not reasons enough.

Writing down these situations for housemates defines what acceptable reasons to wake someone up are and helps ensure you can sleep guilt free. Assigning more responsibility to older children in your family can also see them resolve minor day to day issues without the need for waking up mum or dad.

2. Blockout Curtains and Blinds

Fluctuations in light can disrupt natural sleep patterns. Circadian rhythms are twenty four hour patterns that define how much rest a person needs amongst other biological functions. The cycle of light and darkness is one of the primary external stimuli that can alter circadian rhythms. A set of quality blockout blinds or curtains provide the needed consistent darkness that translates into quality sleep.

3. Constant Hum of a Fan

Noise pollution in its many forms be it your family, street traffic, people in general or being on a flight path, all disrupt sleep patterns. The greatest amount of ambient noise is generated during the day. Clamour of any kind can be detected by the subconscious during sleep. The more primitive parts of the brain are stimulated by these unexpected disruptions. The flight or fight systems kick in. The rest you need is interrupted for the remainder of the day.

Box fans or pedestal fans are affordable solutions to this pandemonium. A constant humming noise generated by the fan produces white noise. Our brain waves mimic the consistent patterns of the box fan. Steady brain waves cloak our bodies in the security it needs to rest and relax.

4. Consider Taking Melatonin Capsules

Melatonin is an over the counter sleep aid. Naturally occurring in the body, the pineal gland of the brain produces melatonin based on external light. Darkness prompts production and light inhibits it. A lack of melatonin disrupts the circadian cycle. Consumption of melatonin in pill form elevates levels of melatonin. This affordable nutritional supplement aid can help increase the amount and also the quality of sleep you get.

5. Sleep-masks and Earplugs

The tandem of light and noise inhibit sleep patterns for those who work on the off shifts. Sensory deprivation tools alleviate alterations in environment. A comfortable form fitting sleep-mask lowers the level of ambient light. A quality set of ear plugs soften the noise in any room. Used in combination, the atmosphere of your bedroom is now conducive to sleep.

6. Consistency

Simplicity is the lynch pin in maintaining quality of life. Slumber is no exception to the simplicity rule. Bedtime should be the same whether your work that day or not. The adage of burning the candle at both ends comes into play. Alterations to your sleep pattern for weekend enjoyment are difficult hurdles to overcome and allow you to get back into a routine. Catching up on needed sleep during the work week is a task that even Hercules cannot vanquish. Consistency is your best friend for garnering the rest your body craves.

These six tips provide a bedrock for those who anyone whose job requires shift work. A solid foundation is essential for quality sleep. Incorporating these strategies into your daily routine will aid in getting the quality and quantity of sleep you need to be a happy, fun, functioning human being.

This article was written by the team at Super Blinds Mart, an Australian company which makes quality blockout blinds and curtains.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

2 thoughts on “6 Sleep Tips for Shift Workers.

  • April 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Funny thing about shift work, is when your hubby has continental hours, it seems so does the wife. Maybe she should take melatonin too. 🙂


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