So how do I cope with Night Shift...
* Sleep as soon as possible after the night shift. If you delay sleep after the night shift, your body will begin to warm up and prepare for the day's activity.
* Ideally, have one block of sleep only; if this is not possible, two blocks of sleep are preferable to a scattered sleep pattern.
* Night workers will sleep better during the clay if they can simulate night-time sleeping conditions.
* Sleep in a dark room or wear an eye mask. This is vital, as melatonin, the hormone of sleep which increases drowsiness, is suppressed by daylight even through closed eyelids.
* Sleep in a quiet part of the house, away from traffic noise and household activity.
* Tell family and friends about your schedule and ask them to call you only during waking hours. Give them a copy of your roster.
* Avoid caffeine three to four hours prior to sleep. Caffeine intake delays sleep onset and impairs sleep quality.
* Feel safe and comfortable. Lock doors and windows for a feeling of security.
* Eat a banana or drink some warm milk before going to bed. Both these foods contain L-Tryptophan, which is known to be a natural sleep inducer. L-Tryptophan releases serotonin, a sleep-inducing brain chemical.
* Avoid alcohol prior to sleep. It is a diuretic and interferes with the quality of sleep.
* If you cannot sleep, stay in bed and rest. Avoid negative thoughts and assure yourself that you are at least getting needed rest.
(Tips courtesy of Whitireia Nursing Journal)