Can't Sleep Through The Night? A Solution That Is Ridiculously Simple!

Now those two words “can’t sleep” are certainly synonymous if you’re a shift worker. Whether it’s because you can’t sleep through the night, or if you work night shift, then it’s because you can’t sleep during the day. Either way, at some point in time we’ve all struggled to get enough sleep.

But what if there was a simple solution? One that could help improve your sleeping habits substantially – would you be interested in knowing what it is?

Well getting a good night’s sleep, especially if you’re a shift worker, is as simple as making sure that your bed is comfortable.

Sound a bit obvious? You bet, but what’s extraordinary is how many people neglect to consider their own sleeping environment when it comes to finding ways to improve their sleep. Many people tend to keep their mattresses, pillows or doonas for far too long. All of them get worn out eventually, and when they do, they become less and less comfortable.

It’s a terrible thing to go to bed and not even feel comfortable.

As doonas and blankets get older, they also become less efficient so you may need to buy a new one or put a blanket or rug on top. During the night your body temperature gradually falls and it is at its lowest around three or four in the morning (now that explains why I struggle to get out of bed for my early shift at 4:00am!)

So make sure that your bedding is warm enough to keep you comfortable, because you don’t want to have your sleep interrupted because you’re waking up in the middle of the night from being too cold.

So it’s time to do an audit on your bed. Check your pillows, the doona, blankets and the mattress. If they’re starting to look a bit old and ratty – then it’s time for an upgrade.

Think about it this way, if you checked into a luxury hotel for a weekend, would you be happy to sleep in the bed you see now?

Most people can only afford a night in a luxury hotel on very special occasions – but you sleep in your own bed almost every night. It is much better value to spend the money on your own bed than blow it on one extravagant night – even if you do have to save up for a while.

I’m sure you’ve stayed in a hotel at some point, where the linen was beautiful and crisp, the pillows soft and fluffy, and the bed so comfortable that you wanted to stay in it all day long!

So try and aim to get your own bed and bedroom as close to that ‘luxury hotel feel’ as much as you can. I promise you will really notice the difference when you’re sleeping in a super comfy bed!

Shift Work Sleep Deprivation – Learn To Live With It And You Will Feel A Heck Of A Lot Less Fatigued!

By far the biggest shift work struggle that I hear from people when it comes to working crazy and irregular hours is FATIGUE. Nothing comes even remotely close, and you certainly don’t have to be Albert Einstein to understand what causes this fatigue. It’s simply called – ‘shift work sleep deprivation’.

Just hearing those four words strung together – ‘shift work sleep deprivation’ – is enough to make anyone feel tired and lethargic.

But if you’re working in an occupation that includes irregular start and finish times and/or you’re required to work long hours then you’re going to suffer from sleep deprivation at some point in time – no question.

And if you’re a night shift worker then you’re really in trouble because getting some high quality shut-eye during the day can be a monumental task to say the least, particularly if your neighbour decides to mow the lawn just as you pull into your driveway after night shift!

But the fact of the matter is, one of the main requirements of our job is to be at work when we would normally be asleep. Or more simply put – when everybody else is sleeping!

And the problem with this is that our bodies are programmed to operate on a 24-hour cycle which means that when the sun goes down, your body reacts by preparing for sleep. After midnight, your ‘body clock’ automatically starts to reduce your body temperature as well as your physical alertness so that you can sleep.

In fact this is a crucial time when your body starts to heal and repair itself, which is why working crazy and irregular hours long term can certainly be damaging to your health.

But I don’t want to be all doom and gloom (you’re probably reading this article right now and thinking how soul destroying and depressing it is), but that’s certainly not my intention.

What I want to do is to help you to learn to live with shift work sleep deprivation because when you work these crazy hours you have to accept that sleep deprivation is going to be a part of your life. It’s just one of those things. But when you begin to stop fighting it and instead, learn to live with it, you will actually start to feel a lot less fatigued. (Now you’re really thinking that I’ve lost my marbles, but just stick with me here).

So as of today, I want you to stop focussing (and talking about) how tired and sleep deprived you might be feeling right now. Instead aim to get as much sleep as you possibly can, and be grateful for the amount of sleep that you have managed to acquire. Because if you’re just saying to yourself over and over again how tired you’re feeling, then you’re just going to attract more of this tiredness – literally!

You see the truth of the matter is, you may not be able to change your roster so that you can sleep like a ‘normal’ person, so it’s going to be up to you to manage your “shift working sleep” (or lack of) – the best way that you can.

So start changing the way that you think about shift work, and start taking responsibility for your own health and well-being.

When you do, you will begin to notice that shift work sleep deprivation will no longer feel like a piercing thorn in your side, and you will be able to go on and lead a relatively healthy (within reason of course) and balanced life – something that every shift worker is so desperately in search of!