Ask the recruitment expert, in association with Vetro Recruitment.
Unlike many industries, the health and social care sector operates 24/7, 365 days of the year. Shift work is the foundation for many of these roles.
We are often told how important sleep is for our health and wellbeing, so how can you get a good sleep pattern as a shift worker?
Here are some techniques:
•Consistency. The key is to be consistent with your sleep on a daily basis. The recommended sleep is 8 hours a day, but we know this is often very difficult to achieve. If you can manage 6 hours of sleep on the days you work, try to maintain these 6 hours every other day. The urge for a longer sleep will be there on your days off, but this causes irregularity and hinders your sleep when you are working.
• If you struggle with energy on a night shift, try to have a short nap (no more than 40 minutes), two hours before your shift.
• Don’t drink a caffeinated drink for at least six hours before you plan to go to bed.
• Don’t rush to get home from work. Rushing causes adrenaline and you need to remain calm.
• Make sure the bedroom is decorated to support you with your sleep patterns. The room should be neutral with calming decor. Invest in a good quality mattress and pillows, blackout blinds or curtains, and try to keep the room at a comfortable 16°C to 18°C.
• Make the room ready for sleep before you start your winding down activities to allow your body to adjust to the darker environment.
• Eat a light snack or meal before going to bed. Try to avoid heavy meals, or meals that are difficult to digest, for example fatty or greasy foods, spicy foods, etc. These will cause difficulty in digestion and can disturb your sleep.
• Go for a light walk or take a hot bath to relax shortly before you go to bed.
• Avoid watching TV or looking at a computer screen/mobile device.
• Put gadgets on silent, use earplugs if you live in a noisy environment, and enjoy your sleep.
Research shows that people who follow these techniques do sleep better, and therefore manage to improve their health and wellbeing.
If you are interested in working in health and social care please get in touch today firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02921 660880.