Sleep advice for shift workers

Those who work shifts can often struggle to get a decent sleep, but Better Bedding advises workers to aim to have at least four hours sleep at the same time every night/morning (eg 3am-7am ) to help to keep your sleep clock regular.

Use the weekend or days off to get in some extra “recovery” sleep. Make sure the sleeping environment is as conducive to rest as possible. A comfortable bed in a dark, well-ventilated room, is essential – invest in some blackout curtains.

Those who work shifts need to re-set their biological clock so avoid stimulants (eg, coffee ), large meals or vigorous exercise for at least three to four hours before going to bed. Also, avoid over-the-counter sleeping aids which may make you over sleepy when you need to be alert (driving home, for example ). Maximum sleepiness occurs when one's biological clock temperature is at its lowest – usually around 4am. Personal levels of alertness are controlled by the biological clock and by how much sleep a person has had.

Sleeplessness leads to poor concentration, thinking, memory, increased irritability and hostility, and alcohol can magnify these effects.

For more advice contact Better Bedding, Sean Mulvoy Road. Galway. Phone 091 756766

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