You need to define your night shift sleep schedule in accordance with your work while keeping in mind to sleep for 7 to 8 hours at a stretch. Night: 1900-0700. Day: 0700-1900. Here are the key points and some action steps for creating a better schedule. On the last few days of the evening shift, delay the times you go to bed and wake up by one to two hours each day. The rest of our clients use different shift times than 8, 10 or 12. Updated October 1, 2010. Sleep consistency is key for many employees working night shift schedules. See 7 different 12-hour shift rotation examples here . You might, for example, find yourself spending a chunk of your time off recovering from your time on. Performance is worse at the end of shifts, particularly night shifts. How to Set a Night Work Sleep Schedule. Sleep duration and difficulty was greatest on night shift. This is how I do it! Split sleep schedules have recently begun to emerge as a potential alternative to continuous night shift work. The researchers pointed out that this is the least effective strategy for adapting one’s circadian clock to a night-time schedule. Cut down your Caffeine Intake. While a few true night owls prefer this schedule, working the night shift is challenging for most nurses. In many hospitals and long-term care facilities, newly hired nurses are asked to work the night shift. 12 hour shifts are used by approximately 40% of our clients. Then when you begin the night shift, your body will already be getting ready for the new schedule. It took me quite awhile and a lot of experimenting to find a sleep schedule that works well for me. National Sleep Foundation. How to sleep well when you work the night shift. Night: 1800-0600. or. I usually work 2-3 shifts together and then have a day or two off. See the chart below for an example. Improve your sleep on a shift-based schedule. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. If you can't, it's easier to adjust to a schedule that rotates from day shift to evening to night rather than the reverse order. The Best Sleep Schedule For Night Shift. Circadian rhythm disorders. They make scheduling a bit simpler since you are only dealing with 2 shift times. And if you’re new to shift work or have been struggling to get adequate sleep, you might need to try a few different sleeping patterns to see which is best for you. Sleep deprivation and deficiency. For many, adopting a consistent sleep schedule and creating a bedroom environment conducive to rest can have a huge impact. Cleveland Clinic. Try to avoid long commutes that take time away from sleeping. Overall minimization of end of shift tasks is important. Sometimes I read articles on how to sleep while working nights that dogmatically dictate a certain sleep schedule. 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