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
>> Relax, unwind and follow a regular bedtime routine
>> 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,