Adjust Your Sleep Time Before a Schedule Change
If you work nights and only nights, you will still be able to keep a consistent sleep schedule. It’s recommended that you sleep during the day on your day’s off, as well.
However, if you work rotation shifts, or your shift assignments are not regular and consistent, you are not able to keep a consistent sleep schedule. What you can do, however, is adjust your sleep schedule directly prior to a schedule change. If you’re about to rotate from an evening shift to a night shift, for example, start delaying the time you go to bed and wake up by an hour or two each day in advance. This can help you ease into the new schedule change, with less sleep inertia, insomnia, and excessive sleepiness.
Making Night Shifts Work for You
Many nurses deal with periodic night shifts. There’s no way around it: it throws off your circadian rhythm. However, there are steps you can take, like gradually shifting your sleep and wake times prior to a stretch of night shifts, to mitigate the negative effects of shift work. There are also considerations at play for employers and administrators, like scheduling personnel for night shifts in a way that allows them sufficient recovery time after the disruption to their sleep cycle.