A sleep routine might seem impossible without the luxury of a constant schedule. Even if you’re stuck rotating shifts, there are ways to get the most out of sleeping hours. The most important thing you can do is be consistent with your routine.
1) Go to bed right when you get home from work. I know it’s tempting to grab a beer, turn on the tv or even the computer, but heading to bed as soon as you walk in every time lets your body know it’s time for sleep. But seriously, no screens as it interferes with falling asleep.
2) Take a warm shower or bath to relax. Stepping out will also begin to cool down your internal temperature, signaling it’s a good time to sleep.
3) Try to sleep the same time every shift. I know some of you rotate shifts (ugh dupont) but every night shift, be in bed by 6:30am and wake up at 1:30pm for example. This allows you the minimum seven hours and you have plenty of time to enjoy your day, accomplish what you need and make it to work on time.
4) Wake up by exposing yourself to light (heh, put on some underwear in case your neighbors are walking the dogs out front ya perv.) I know it’s tempting to sit in the dark basement all day and zone out but going outside or even opening all the curtains can help signal your body it’s time to wake up and you’ll feel more alert going into the day.
An example routine might be:
6:00am Clock out
6:00 – 6:10am Drive home
6:10 – 6:15am Close curtains, turn phone to do not disturb, get in bed
6:30am – 1:30pm Sleep
1:30pm – 1:45pm Wake up, open curtains, move around
Need tips for how to set up your room for daytime sleeping? Check out this post.