Many work overnight hours and have to get their sleep during the day. After working overnights for many years, I know first hand that it is not always easy to get your sleep during the day. Here are some steps to take to help you sleep during the day.
Things You Will Need
Alternate cell phone or pager for emergency calls
Sleeping during the day when family and friends are awake can be a challenge. Remind them that you sleep during the day because you work all night and need to be left alone. Reassure them you would be happy to spend time with them during the early evenings before you go to work. Don't get in the habit of sleeping for a few hours waking up and then going back to sleep for a few more before working. This will lead to exhaustion.
Have a pay as you go phone or a beeper so you can be contacted in an emergency. This will allow you to turn off your house phone and cell phone while you sleep. If you sleep during the day while your kids are at school and your spouse is at work, you want to have the peace of mind of knowing the school can still reach you. Let the school know that you sleep during the day and to only use the pager or cell phone if needed.
Develop a bedtime routine and stick to it. Sleeping during the day is difficult due to our body's circadian rhythm. Train your body to sleep during the day. 1 - 3 milligrams of melatonin improves sleep quality and duration. Only take sleeping pills as a last resort. Stick to your work night sleeping habits even on days off. Disrupting your schedule on days off makes it harder to sleep during the days you work.
Avoid stimulants such as coffee, nicotine and caffeine for several hours before you sleep. Don't eat or drink a lot before going to sleep.
Create a comfortable sleeping environment. Use room darkening window shades and covers to block out light or a sleep mask. Have the room temperature and humidity levels where you like them. Turn digital clocks away from where you sleep. Even a small amount of light lessens the quality of sleep for someone who sleeps during the day.
Use ear plugs, a fan or white noise machine to block out daytime sounds. Don't use a radio or any of the nature sound tapes. Even though you are sleeping, your brain is still following the sounds and this impairs quality of sleep. Sleeping during the day is much harder to do because your body wants to do the natural thing and stay awake.
Studies are showing disturbing trends of health problems in people who work overnight hours. Depression, heart disease and cancer cases are higher in these people. Make sure you get at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day, eat a well balanced diet and get regular exercise. These will all also help with sleep quality.
Protect your daytime sleeping habits. Sleep is necessary for the body and mind.