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Surviving shift work


For most of us, our daily routine is simple: Wake up when it’s light outside and sleep when it’s dark. However, for the many Canadians who indulge in a lifestyle of shift work, either throughout the year or during those summer months, learning to adapt to a very different sleep schedule can be a job in itself. The Better Sleep Council Canada suggests the following to help you make the most of your time both under the sheets and on the job:

• Take a nap about two hours before your shift starts.

• Prepare your sleep schedule in the days leading into your shift change — stay up a bit later than usual to avoid shocking your body into the late night that’s ahead.

• Try to keep yourself exposed to bright light to help trick your body into believing it’s daytime.

• Avoid caffeine during the last half hour of your shift and alcohol when your shift is done.

• When you’re heading home the morning after your night shift, consider wearing dark glasses so the daylight does not reset your biological clock.

• Relax, unwind and follow a regular bedtime routine before sleeping.

• Make sure your environment is conducive to sleep; avoid noises and interruptions; make sure the bedroom is cool, quiet and dark.

• Lastly, stay fit and exercise regularly.

For more advice on how to get a good night’s sleep, visit www.bettersleep.ca.


 
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