Staying on top of your sleep can be tough when you have to uphold an unconventional schedule!
Whether you work graveyards, are on a rotating shift, or are a night owl that just can’t seem to sleep soundly, a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health and happiness—not to mention productivity! If you work as an airline pilot, public serviceman, or healthcare professional, getting adequate rest can even be crucial to the health and welfare of those around you.
There are many important tasks your brain can only complete when you are sound asleep—like sweeping itself out. Because of this, a deficit can result in a lack of clarity and a slew of other health and beauty issues.
If your focus is starting to fall by the wayside, never fear! Here’s how to help yourself fall into a deep sleep despite odd hours—so both you and your brain can do their job!
- Stay Consistent
Try to stick to the same sleep schedule on your days off as you do on your workdays. As tempting as it may be to join in on daytime activities when you work graves, your internal clock craves consistency! When it has to constantly adjust, it can be very hard for it to shut off when the time comes to get some shut-eye.
- Move Around
While you may feel super tired on your days off and want to lounge around the house, getting up and moving will actually help you get the rest you need to recover. Taking a walk, doing some light exercises, or planning an active (non-alcoholic) outing with friends are all great ways to help guarantee you will sleep soundly later on.
- Limit Naps
When you aren’t getting enough sleep, napping may seem like a suitable solution. The truth is, napping for more than an hour during the day can actually make it harder to sleep at night! This doesn’t mean you can’t nap at all, though. Just keep it short and sweet—30 minutes or less at a time.
- Avoid Caffeine
This one is tough for coffee lovers! Avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening will help you sleep better at night. If you still need a fix, try eating fruit for quick energy. If you are craving the taste, opt for decaf or non-caffeinated tea instead. You can do this!
- Eat Right
Eating a heavy meal right before bed will make it harder to sleep well, as will a poor diet. Fuel up your brain and body with the nutrients it needs to replenish, and it will provide you with what you need to succeed and get things done during the day—including restful sleep!
- Take Supplements
There are supplements available that are specially formulated to support restful sleep. Taking these can provide sweet relief from insomnia and help you sleep on an odd schedule. While it may be tempting to try out an addictive substance instead, addiction will make it much harder to sleep down the road!
- Wind Down
Some people can shut off right away when it’s time to sleep. If you are reading this, you are probably not one of those people. If falling asleep is a process for you, give it a head start by giving yourself some time to relax before bed. Might a bath or a book help your body transition into sleep mode?
- Get Comfortable
Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool to create the ideal environment for sleep. If you are a day sleeper, consider investing in blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light. If you live in a noisy building or area, investing in earplugs or a white noise machine will help you drown out the sound and descend into a deep sleep.
- Breathe Deeply
Deep breathing is a simple yet effective way to lull your body and mind into a deep slumber. Start by inhaling slowly through your nose and letting your stomach expand. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth, letting your stomach fall. Repeat this for several minutes.
- Seek Treatment
If you’re still struggling to sleep, there may be a health problem at play. A whole-body approach is often the best way to deal with this without side effects (which you probably don’t have time for). A qualified doctor or practitioner at a holistic clinic can help you get to the root of your sleep issues and find a solution that works for you.
Getting restful sleep is crucial in so many ways. Without it, we are more likely to get sick, feel stressed, and have accidents!
With a little effort (and maybe even a few weird tricks), you can get the deep and restful sleep you need to feel your best. That way, you’ll be ready to take on whatever your unconventional schedule throws your way!