Monday, March 20, 2017

Just a Good Night's Sleep

I work nights currently. I've worked alternate shifts most of my life. And the one thing anybody who has worked alternate shifts knows is that just a good night's sleep is one of the most valuable things around. The third shifter shares something with the  insomniacs of the world. We share the desire to just get the right amount of rest. After years of working weird shifts, here are a few of my secrets to getting some sleep.

Routine

There was a point in time when I tried to stay away all day after I got off work on the weekends. I thought this would help me get more completed in life. The opposite was what occurred. I was so groggy and tired I didn't get much accomplished. And I didn't enjoy the things I was doing. What I found was that my body likes knowing what to expect. I did much better when I picked a time to go to sleep and went to bed at or near the same time every day.

Nap

A daily nap will screw your sleep cycle up. An occasional long nap once every week or so will make you feel better. If your body is telling you to sleep on a regular basis. You may need some extra sleep. There are just times when you need to sleep extra in order to have more energy. Personally, I stay awake during the night on my days off. So I am up all night pretty much every night. But if I am tired at night, I sleep for an hour or so when it's dark out. I'm usually pretty good to go for a while after that nap. And I mean that I am less tired for several days.

Move

Fit some sort of exercise into your life routine. The more you move the more energy you will have. It will also provide you with a time when your body naturally wants to sleep.

Avoid Sleep Aids

Tylenol PM is the third shifters friend and enemy. If I take one on occasions, I get a great night of solid sleep. But I do feel a little groggy when I wake up. If I take a sleep aid on a regular basis, I am just tired all of the time, and they become less effective when I really need them to be. Melatonin is much more effective for me. And I don't seem to build up that tolerance as quickly. It is a natural supplement, and it does work at regulating sleep cycles. It works.
The point of all of this is listen to your body. Most of the time it will guide you to where you need to be.


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