Finding a way to get to sleep at a normal time after working night-shift is often challenging for most nurses and other professionals. To fall asleep and stay asleep the night after finishing your last shift, you need to be intentional about getting back on track if this is your plan. Personally, I want to get back on track, because my wife usually wants to go to bed around 10 pm. Currently, I work four night shifts in a row during the week and leave work by 800 am. It takes me about 35 to 45 minutes to get home in the morning. A longer drive than most nurses. With the advice in this article, I can fall asleep by 10 pm on Friday night and wake up Saturday at 630 am and feel rested. Also, I sleep normally throughout the weekend until I start my first night shift on Monday night.
I want to provide you with some tools for doing this that have been working for me. Obviously, the success of these tools has to do with your overall health. I do believe it starts with food as a foundation for health. If you are on medications, it may affect the success of these tips.
Do not sleep too late – After your last night-shift set the alarm during the day to allow yourself to get up by 3 pm. Also, I am usually in bed by 9 am or 930 am at the latest and do not do any exercise or anything stimulating before you go to bed. Do not take any sleep aids if at all possible. Remember, be intentional about helping your body be successful so it can produce the melatonin to help you sleep.
Magnesium powder and melatonin – Do this one hour before you go to bed at night not the morning you get home from work. I use a magnesium powder made by natural calm and usually about 1mg of melatonin powder mixed in eight ounces of warm water.
Wear blue blocking glasses – Start wearing these one hour before you go to bed in the morning and at night. These are simple glasses that block out blue light which suppresses your body’s ability to produce it’s natural melatonin. Blue light comes from electronics, lights in your room, or the sun to name a few common examples. These glasses can be anywhere from 10 to 80 dollars on Amazon depending on how stylish you want to be.
Other tips – Make sure to keep your room cool and dark, and you may even want to wear an eye mask. Keep pets out of the bedroom and minimize noises while you sleep. You may even want to get a Lasko fan to drown out noises if you are a light sleeper like myself.
Try to work your night shifts together. I have tried doing a shift here, and two shifts there, and even these techniques will not work for me. So if you want a normal sleep schedule after working night shifts make sure you do the things I listed in this article. These techniques are what have worked for me, and I understand they may not work for everyone. You can email me, and we can look at some other things going on with your diet, stress level, and other lifestyle factors to see if this is causing you not to sleep regularly.
Hope this article has been helpful for you getting your sleep back on track after working night-shift. If so, please share this article with your friends and let me know about other areas you are struggling with on your health journey.