Most of us are awake during the day because of our body’s internal clock. So no matter how tired you are after working all night, internal and external signals will conflict with your desire to sleep. Fortunately, these lifestyle changes can help.
SET A SLEEP SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
Establish a regular bedtime routine. Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet.
DIM THE LIGHTS
Light keeps people awake, so decrease your light exposure at least 30 minutes before trying to sleep. After daybreak, wear sunglasses on your way home, even on a cloudy day.
CUT BACK ON CAFFEINE
Try not to drink any caffeine within four hours of the end of your shift, to give your body time to process it.
Let family members know what hours you’re working and when you’ll be sleeping, so they know when to leave you alone.
GET HELP FROM YOUR DOCTOR
If these tips don’t help, your doctor may suggest taking melatonin (a natural hormone that influences your natural sleep-wake cycle), medications to promote wakefulness or prescription sleep aids.
Tina Waters, M.D., is a sleep expert at the Cleveland Clinic.