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Healthwords' sleep tips for shift workers – from personal experience

Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-AdamReviewed on 30.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Sleep is really important can have a direct impact on your health. Getting a good "night’s" sleep during the day can be challenging for anyone working night shifts. Here at Healthwords we've done a fair few night shifts ourselves, with one team member racking up more than a years worth of night shifts over the last 6 years of work in the hospital. So here are our top tips on how to give yourself the best chance of getting some good rest during the day.


Try to keep your workplace brightly lit throughout the night shift. It will help you feel more alert and promote better sleep when you come to it. When you do come to sleep, try to block out all natural light in your bedroom for your daytime sleep. Black-out blinds or stick-on black-out cover for windows can be really useful for this or invest in a really good eye mask if you prefer.

Get your sunnies out

You may feel silly but trust me on this one, when you are leaving your shift, put on sunglasses (no matter the weather) to block out some of the natural sunlight and UV rays. Sunlight will trick your body into thinking it needs to be awake, making it harder to fall to sleep when you get home.

Stick to a routine

Try to stick to a regular sleep-wake pattern as much as possible throughout the night shifts, this gives you the best chance of falling asleep when you want to as your body adapts to the routine.

Time your coffee or caffeine well

Avoid coffee or other caffeine products in the second half of your shift. The half-life of caffeine is around 5 to 6 hours so that means half the amount of caffeine you drank will still be in your system by 5 hours and can make it more difficult to fall to sleep.

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Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed on 30.10.2023
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