Sleep-care Practices for Night Shift Remote Workers

Think about all the key benefits of having great sleep: better physical recovery, improved memory, more energy in the morning, better skin, and the list goes on. We can all agree that a good night’s sleep empowers the body to recover and lets you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Despite knowing all the benefits of sleep, are we truly placing emphasis on sleep-care? According to Sleep Foundation, Adults between 18 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Adults over 65 need 7-8 hours. The CDC reports that only 1 in 3 adults do not get enough sleep. In fact a recent study says that the Philippines is the top 4 country in the world that lacks sleep.

As remote workers, one must question whether we place the right value on the quality of sleep. With the rising trend of “self-care” and indulgences indoors, we may forget that with self-care comes good quality sleep. 

Interesting Facts about Sleep

Did you know that we spend about 2 hours dreaming each time we sleep? Much of that has to do with the cycles of sleep we go through. Normally, a person goes through four to six sleep cycles and one of them is R.E.M. which takes up to 20-25% of sleep. We have light sleep, deep sleep, REM, and Awake Times that interchange between the cycles. During these sleep cycles our body temperature drops and so does our metabolism. Sleep aids in our circadian rhythm or our body clock, as for night shift workers this can pose as a challenge since there are plenty ways our sleep cycle can be disrupted because of our work schedule. 

Importance of Good Sleep

Sleep irregularities are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and anxiety. By developing a consistent sleep routine, we lessen the chances of developing these ailments. 

Dos and Don’ts for Developing A Healthy Sleep Routine

There are plenty of ways to practice Yoga and Ayurveda. Uniquely, the situation that calls for workplace practice is unfamiliar with some. Here are some ways you can bring this tag-team into your work for a more balanced experience:

DON’T bring technology to the bedroom. 

That harmful blue light from computer and cellphone screens makes it difficult to fall asleep because it tricks your body into believing it is the daytime due to the brightness of the screens. For night shift workers it is all too difficult to stay away from electronics or sleep in dark rooms if we sleep during sunrise. One way to help us is to stay away from blue light screens 2-3 hours before sleeping and if it is already daytime, use thick black out curtains for you to sleep better. 

DON’T drink caffeine near your sleep time.

Before your night shift take time to demarcate the time you want to go to sleep. Avoid drinking anything with caffeine at least 5 hours before your intended bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant, you will find that no matter how tired you are, having caffeine in your system will still keep your mind wide awake even while you sleep. 

DON’T drink alcohol before sleeping.

Drinking alcohol can affect your REM cycle and cause you to suddenly wake up in the middle of sleep. While alcohol does act oppositely from caffeine, it does affect the quality of our sleep drastically. After alcohol is metabolized, the sleep-inducing effects are reversed and give you quite a hard time trying to get through the night. 

DON’T go to bed hungry.

Going to bed hungry will only prompt you to wake up because of a noisy, empty stomach, grab a midnight or mid-sleep snack and end up having to stay awake longer just to digest the food. Always keep your tummy with enough fuel to go through the night without the incessant rumbling.

DO maintain a regular sleep schedule to Regulate your Circadian Rhythm. 

For night shift workers, it does not matter what time you sleep, it is the consistency of this set schedule that matters. You need to keep your sleeping patterns consistent to maintain a level of normalcy with your body clock. Maintaining one’s circadian rhythm (body clock) is crucial to overall health and brain performance. 

DO meditate.

Meditation before going to bed helps. It aids in clearing the mind, especially if coupled with deep breathing exercises.

DO set up your environment for sleep.

Set your sleeping environment well. Keep the temperature cool. Have the room be completely dark, if you are on night shift and sleep in the mornings, make sure you have thick black out curtains to block out the sun. Make sure the room is devoid of noise and clear out any unnecessary clutter, clean bed sheets has also been proven to induce better sleep. 

At Rocket Station, we place value in the health and wellness of each teammate and seek to empower them to lead a healthy lifestyle. This April, join our community by signing up in our newsletter to read more interesting articles about health and wellness and how it can help you at work. 


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