The body never adjusts to shift work!
Even though there is a chance you may not adjust to working such an abnormal schedule, there are things you can do to make it a little bit easier on yourself. Strategies for coping depend on your personal needs, your job requirements, and what is going on in your home. Each individual’s needs are different, so not every coping strategy applies to everyone.
First of all, keep your workplace well-lit so your body tells you to be alert. Have coffee early in your shift to keep you alert, but limit your caffeine consumption later in your shift so it doesn’t prevent you from sleeping when you get home and go to bed. Then go right home; avoid running errands. Turn off your phone or at least put it on silent so your sleep doesn’t get interrupted by calls or text messages. Black out curtains in the bedroom are a big help to block out light. If your brain senses the light, it may keep you alert. Try and stick to the same bedtime and wake up at the same time every day. Also, make sure family or anyone in the house is aware you are sleeping and let you sleep without interruptions.
A nap can do your body some good, too. Taking a 90-minute nap before your shift starts can help you feel rested. Also if you can, on your lunch try and take a short nap of about 20 minutes. This will be just long enough to make you feel rested and alert.
Although your body may never thoroughly adjust, these pointers can help you cope with your crazy schedule.
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