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Working at night? How do you sleep better

 Atypical working hours are often the cause of sleep and vigilance disorders. To sleep better, a few rules should be observed.

Get some fresh air and go outside

The sleep-wake rhythm is governed by daylight: it synchronizes the biological clock. By activating a set of biological mechanisms, light allows for good quality vigilance and cognitive functioning during the day," explains Dr. Claude Gronfier, a chronobiologist at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). It is the good synchronization of the clock and the darkness which allow a good sleep at night. A bad hygiene of light is responsible for disorders and possibly pathologies".

Insufficiently exposed to natural light, workers with atypical schedules have difficulty falling asleep. As much as they can, they are advised to go outside and get some fresh air outside of work, but to avoid too much exposure when leaving work or returning home, as this would delay falling asleep.

To compensate for the lack of sunlight, light therapy sessions are also recommended. They consist of exposure to special high-intensity lamps for 30 minutes to an hour. In all cases, it is preferable to seek the advice of your doctor.

Isolating yourself in the dark

Another disadvantage of working shifts is that sleep is less restful during the day than at night. Quality sleep requires a calm environment, darkness and a temperature close to 18°C. To sleep well during the day, you should isolate yourself as much as possible from noise and make the room completely dark, because darkness allows the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone, whereas light blocks it.

All electronic devices should be banned from the room: radio, television, smartphone, computer ..., because they are likely to disrupt sleep. And it is better to establish, as far as possible, a regularity in the schedules of rising and lying down.

A warm shower before going to sleep

Eating balanced, light meals at fixed times, avoiding snacking, ensures good sleep. Coffee and stimulants are not recommended four hours before bedtime, nor is alcohol, which increases the risk of insomnia.

It should be noted that regular physical activity promotes deep slow wave sleep, which is particularly restorative. As long as it is not done before bedtime.

Then, before going to sleep, taking a warm shower to lower the body temperature as well as doing some breathing and relaxation exercises to reduce brain intensity helps to better control the sleep-wake rhythm.

Finally, to recover from night work, it is imperative not to wait and go to bed in the morning, because this is the time when melatonin levels are highest and cortisol levels, which promote alertness, are lowest. Sleep is therefore deeper in the morning than in the afternoon, when the phenomenon is reversed.

Naps and micro-naps

In the short term, working atypical hours is responsible for a chronic sleep debt. This can be avoided by supplementing short periods of sleep with naps, or even micro-naps of twenty minutes, which recharge the batteries.

Working at night? How do you sleep better Reviewed by pite on August 30, 2022 Rating: 5

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