What are some lifestyle changes that can improve shift work disorder?

Certain lifestyle changes and sleep tips can help improve shift work disorder:
  • If you work rotating shifts, ask your manager to schedule a clockwise rotation. This means that your new shift will have a start time that is later than your last shift. It is easier to adapt to this type of rotation because it is easier to stay up late than to go to bed early.
  • If possible, take a nap during a break in your shift or before reporting for a night shift. Even a nap of just 20 to 30 minutes can improve your alertness on the job.
  • Arrange for someone to pick you up after a night shift, or take a bus or cab home. Drowsy driving can put your life and the lives of other drivers at risk.
  • Try to keep the same schedule on work days and days off. Keeping a routine helps your body know when to be alert and when to sleep.
  • Plan ahead for a major change in a shift-work schedule. Begin to alter your sleep time a few days in advance. This will make it easier for your body to adjust.
  • Use moderate amounts of caffeine to help you stay alert on the job. Stop drinking coffee in the later portions of your shift so that it does not disrupt your sleep when it is time to go to bed.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight if you need to sleep during the day. Wear sunglasses if you must go outside.
  • Make sure others in your home are aware of your work schedule. They should keep the home quiet when they know that you need to sleep.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.