How Room Darkening Blinds Can Help Night Shift Workers Sleep Better

By Subodh / March 25, 2014

There is growing proof that sleep deprivation can result in serious health complications. The people who are usually affected by this condition are shift workers, including medical workers, police officers, and fire fighters. If you are working night shift, you are probably aware of how shift work changes your body’s biological clock. Because of the varying schedule, your body is unable to tell when it should wake up and when it should sleep.

Unfortunately, there is no one right solution for everyone. Thankfully, there are ways to help you get high quality sleep despite the frequent changes in your sleep schedule. One way to get a good sleep is by installing room darkening blinds. This article also lists a few sleep strategies to make night shift less hazardous to your health.

blinds

Use Room Darkening Blinds To Control The Amount Of Light

Light plays a very important role in our lives. Light affects our sleep patterns, our meal schedule, as well as our moods. But there are times when you need to block out the light. For instance, when you want to sleep, it is only natural that you want to keep your room dark and quiet. However, as a night shift worker, you usually get home when the sun is already up and shining brightly outside your bedroom window. So how are you going to sleep now?

According to www.blackoutblinds.biz, one way to achieve a darkened room is to install room darkening blinds that can completely keep out light and noise. Room darkening blinds, such as blackout blinds, are window treatments that can block out more light than a regular window curtain. These blinds are very useful when the windows in your room allow so much light that you are unable to get a comfortable and peaceful sleep. Here are a few pointers for choosing the right blackout blinds:

  • What is the size of your windows?
  • Do you wish to mount the blackout blinds inside or outside the window facing?
  • How much light does the blackout blinds block?

Keep in mind that the amount of light filtration is generally expressed in percentage. You can look for it in the blinds’ packaging. You should check the percentage of light blocked before purchasing any type of blackout blinds.

Other Sleep Strategies To Avoid Health Hazards

Avoid Taking Melatonin: It is very important to avoid melatonin intake unless a physician prescribed it to you. You might think that melatonin is helpful in allowing you to sleep better; however, you will only be ruining the function of your circadian system and worsen the disruption of your biological clock.

Clockwise Work Shift: If you work rotating shifts, you should consider working clockwise. This means that the new shift should start later than the last one. This work schedule is recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Say, for example, your last shift was 3:00 to 11:00 p.m., you will be able to rest and sleep better if your next shift is 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Three-Day Warning: If you are about to change your shift at work, you should alter your sleep schedule three days in advance. For example, your usual shift is 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and you’re about to move to 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift. If you usually sleep around 3 o’clock in the morning, it is best if you move your sleep schedule to 5 o’clock in the morning until 1 o’clock in the afternoon on the first day of your transition. On the second day of your transition, move your sleep schedule to 7 o’clock in the morning until 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Eat A Healthy Diet: It is very important to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. If possible, try to follow a meal schedule even when you are rotating shifts. You should still have breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. This will trick your body clock. In addition, you should also avoid eating processed carbohydrates at night.

Kris Hopkins is a registered nurse who knows how hard it is to work with rotating shift. In this article, she lists a few sleep strategies to reduce the negative impact of shift work on one’s health.