There is nothing worse than waking up and feeling like you didn’t get enough sleep prior to your busy day! Problem’s sleeping can be related to medical concerns, but what if it is just some of your habits that are robbing you of sleep. Here are some tips and tricks I have when it comes to catching those precious Zs!
- Prepare your work essentials the night before!
When getting ready for your shift think about the things you will need to get together the night before. This will give you more time to sleep and your morning will not be rushed. Lay out your clothes, and supplies you might need, and any work supplies you might need. Lay everything out in a central location so you will know where everything is. Now you won’t have the morning struggle of finding what to wear and it will be one less thing to think about the night before. Now you can add some time to that alarm clock!
- Stay off electronics in the bedroom
This means no checking social media, YouTube, or whatever your preference. If checking your phone every 5 minutes is not your weakness like mine! Then maybe you need to turn off the television. The distractions can overstimulate your brain and confuse it. It should be getting ready for sleep, but lights on screens and information are sending it different signals. If your able switch of notifications on your phone or keep it in a completely different room. I sometimes charge mine in the kitchen so I won’t be tempted to pick it up if I am already having trouble sleeping. If television is the issue you might need to completely take it out of your bedroom!
- Try to go to bed at the same time each night
Going to bed at the same time every night and trying to awaken at the same time, can help lead to a better nights sleep. Regular sleep patterns help your body to stay in sync with your circadian rhythm. This is basically your bodies 24-hour clock. By going to bed at the same time and awakening at the same time, your body will naturally fall into a rhythm it will recognize! This is something I struggle to do. Because on your days off. Who doesn’t want to sleep in? Or I have also worked night shift and staying awake all night at home while everyone else is sleeping is no fun. But it is a scientific fact that not being consistent with your sleep patterns can lead to a disrupted circadian rhythm and lost sleep.
- Stop hitting that snooze!
If you have trouble getting up in the morning and find yourself hitting the snooze until you are running around like the house is on fire. Then you might need to set your alarm clock across the room and out of reach. This way you have to get out of bed to hit snooze or turn it off. It also helps to find an alarm that is loud but won’t put you in a bad mood to start the day. Or to quiet so you never hear it. I found waking up to music helped me to get up faster and be in a better mood. I also set my alarm for the last possible minute because then I know I have no snoozes to hit. This works for me. I wish I could get up super early and meditate or exercise. I just know myself. I will start calculating how much sleep I would get if I hit snooze and I end up oversleeping. Really you just have to be honest with yourself and find what works for you!
- Watch what you eat and drink before bed
If you want to have a healthy snack before bed it should be okay. But if you decide to eat your leftover hot wings from your favorite restaurant before bed you might be in for a night of sleeplessness! Only you know what will irritate your system. If you have acid reflex then you really need to watch what you put on your belly at night. Picking what you drink is important also. If you down a gallon of water before bed then your most likely going to be making a few visits to the bathroom. Or if you’re really sensitive to caffeine you might not be able to have anything with caffeine for several hours before bed.
These are some tips for getting a good nights sleep prior to your next shift! It may help to keep a sleep journal and find out what works for you and what doesn’t. It is best when you find out a routine that works for you to try to stick to it. This way when you start preparing for your bedtime your brain recognizes the signal and starts preparing for rest!