The Ultimate Restorative Sleep Checklist for Night-Time Workers

Why is it so difficult to get a good restorative sleep after your night shift work is over?

The primary reason is that while you’re winding down for bed, the rest of the world around you is gearing up for the day. Sunshine is out, people are loud, and getting the right amount of sleep to restore your body and mind is extremely elusive. If you think about it, getting decent dinner food at 7:00 in the morning can prove to be a challenge if you have nothing prepared at home…unless you hit up IHOP or SONIC that serve their full menu all day long.

But restoring daytime sleep is entirely possible for you IF you work within what you have.

Take this checklist through your house and make sure that these items are completed to help you FINALLY receive some much needed sleep:

1) Make your room as dark as possible. The darker the room, the better. Room darkening curtains are an excellent investment if you work at night and your bedroom faces east (getting the maximum amount of sun).

2) Do an insulation check. Did you realize that not only does insulation provide weather protection (keeping the house cool in the heat of summer and warm in the cold of winter), but it also can provide a good sound barrier? You can check your own insulation level using the tools described in this article.

3) Quiet and calming exercises. There are exercises that are geared to help with relaxation. Yoga is one of those exercises. It does not have to take long – just 7 minutes is all it takes for a good night’s sleep.

4) Invest in noise canceling headphones for silencing the loud environment around you. I used to have Bose noise canceling headphones that worked so great when flying on planes. They may be uncomfortable to sleep in, but having the peace and quiet is totally worth it.

5) Turn on a sleep meditation. There are a good number of apps available to assist with meditation specifically for sleep. My suggestions are to try Calm or Slumber – these are paid apps, but are an excellent investment in your sleep health. If you do not desire to make an investment now, check out YouTube or Spotify for free meditations to relax you into sleep.

6) Avoid heavy meals before going to sleep. When you eat heavily, your digestive system has much more to process than normal, making it difficult for you to go directly to sleep when you lay down. Plan the meals that you eat so that the last meal you have before lying down is a light meal.

7) Sleepytime tea actually helps. I am an avid tea drinker, and finding great teas that helped me fall asleep naturally was a game changer for me. Having chamomile tea, or lavender tea, or even caramel tea with a hint of apple flavor before I went to bed made it much easier to relax my body and spirit.

8) Make the room cool. A warm room can be uncomfortable, and contribute to a restless sleep. Yes, I do understand that a lot of areas experience sub-freezing winter temperatures and that staying warm is critical to life. During those icy months, it is vital to warm the bedroom just enough to stay comfortable, not to the point of sweltering.

9) Stop watching the clock! I think we all worry that one of two things will happen: (1) we will totally oversleep, or (2) we totally won’t get enough sleep. To combat our worries, we end up setting multiple alarms. We then wake up, nervous that we overslept, but glance at the clock and sadly realize you have three more hours to go. But that disturbance makes it super hard to get back to sleep…then our mind starts thinking about other things, and before we know it, the alarm starts blaring and we’ve ruined our sleep time. If it is possible, cover the clock so you cannot see the exact time and trust yourself with the alarms you have set!

Maybe YOU need to figure out what your issue is concerning sleep. I always start with nutrition in the life of my clients. Let us take a look at your food choices by starting with this 30 second quiz. Click the banner below to get started.

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