Shiftwork Tips

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During the Daytime

  1. Wear wraparound dark glasses on the way home from shift. Light stimulus at this time will tend to activate the daytime clock and counteract the effort to simulate “night”.
  2. Keep the same bedtime and wake time every day, even on weekends.
  3. Keep sleep environment quiet, dark, and cool. Wear earplugs and eye mask. Install light-blocking shades. Unplug phone, hang “do not disturb” on front door, and ask family and friends to respect your sleep.
  4. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
  5. Avoid alcohol, because it actually disturbs sleep.

Tips for Getting to Sleep

  1. Go to sleep as soon as possible after arriving home from work.
  2. Avoid activating the brain with stressful or stimulating activities (surfing the web, balancing checkbook, watching a thriller on TV).
  3. Take a warm bath or shower before going to sleep. A declining body temperature is associated with falling asleep.
  4. Lower the temperature in the room.

Workplace Coping Tips

  1. Short naps during the shift (20 minutes or less) can improve alertness. If management does not permit naps, consider getting your doctor, union, and superiors help to change
    this policy.
  2. Work with others to keep each other alert.
  3. Drink caffeinated beverages.
  4. Do the boring tasks early, before you get sleepy.
  5. Be active during breaks (walk, exercise).
  6. Do not volunteer to work overtime.
  7. Keep work environment well lit during night and early morning hours.