Can’t Sleep After A Night Shift? 13 Odd Tips That Can Actually Work

Do you work late at night or even overnight on a full graveyard shift? If so then you’ve probably struggled with sleep and how to adjust your circadian rhythm.  If you can’t sleep after a night shift then then this article is for you.

Read on to explore these 13 odd sleep tips you can try that will help you get the all-important rest your body is craving.

Can’t Sleep After A Night Shift? 13 Odd Tips That Can Actually Work

The average person normally spends around 8 hours in bed each night. That means that we spend roughly a third of our lives sleeping. Sleep deprivation is a common problem today and even more specifically “shift worker sleep deprivation”, because of the working lifestyle and the effects it can have on your natural circadian sleep cycle.

Avoiding shift work sleep disorder can be a challenge. If you are someone who can’t sleep after a night shift, don’t lose hope. There are a few things you can try that will help you. 

1. Take A Warm Bath Before Bedtime

This is one of the best ideas you can have when trying to fix your sleeping pattern after night shifts because unfortunately, your body is still so tense and ready to move after the shift after having worked through the night.

A hot bath can induce the feeling of relaxation and stimulate the part of your body and brain that signal it’s time to slow down and get to sleep.

It’s also a great way to avoid any stimulation. Too often we are on our cell phones or we try watching tv to help fall asleep. Electronics emit blue light, which in turn signals to your brain that it’s not time to fall asleep. Avoiding blue light can be done in several ways including wearing blue light glasses. However, the best way is to simply not look at any screens for at least an hour before you fall asleep.

2. Use A White Noise Machine

Some people’s issue with falling asleep in general can be just how silent it is when trying to fall asleep, because there is nothing there to occupy or distract your brain, you struggle to fall asleep faster and end up frustrated and out of your sleeping pattern.

White noise and even other colored noises, like pink or brown noise, can be proven to aid your sleep in several ways.

Noise machines, especially one’s with different color noise options can help people with ADHD, or other people with an overactive mind at night, to feel more relaxed. Pink or white noise is subtle enough to distract your brain, but not enough to keep you awake or focused. 

3. Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol

This one is a no-brainer, but after a night shift where you’ve had to force yourself to stay awake, you may have found yourself opting for the use of caffeine or even alcohol to keep you awake long enough. Or you may be wanting to have a drink after work with co-workers, as a reward for getting through the shift.

These are probably the two worsts things you can do to your sleep.

Alcohol and caffeine, while they may be enjoyable, disrupt sleeping patterns. The caffeine in coffee is designed to keep your brain awake even if it has been hours since you had any.  It’s recommend to avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours before you plan to sleep, or simply not drink any of it. 

4. Do Exercise

Exercise could be your solution, my friend! If your body and mind are exhausted, you will eventually begin to fall asleep, and exercise can be a healthy way to induce this pattern in your brain again.

But be careful of how much you rely on this, especially if you have been working long hours. Exercise may very well be the last thing you want to do and it’s never good for you to over-exert yourself. That said, sometimes exercise is the ideal way to work off excess energy from a night shift, so you can finally fall asleep.

5. Go To Bed At The Same Time Each Day

The best way to fix a disrupted sleeping pattern from working a nightshift is to create a routine that works around your difficult job schedule!

If you can create a time and space where you can sleep after night shifts that looks exactly the same and is repetitive, your body can become used to this.  This will go a long way towards helping you to be able to fall asleep with how familiar the routine is to your mind.

6. Try Eye Masks

The best way to find yourself getting a great night’s sleep (even if it is not during the night hours) is to mimic nighttime conditions. So, that’s where eye masks come in handy to mimic the physical condition of a black-out room.

There are some incredibly comfortable eye masks these days that come with a variety of different options to choose from. From silk sleep masks, to sound sleep masks, weighted sleep masks and more.  Here is a link to the Manta Sleep Mask, which is one of the best on the market today.

Can’t Sleep After A Night Shift? 13 Odd Tips That Can Actually Work

Try one out for yourself for a night as a trial to see if it works for you, and if it does, perfect! Using a sleep mask could just be the thing you need to help with your shift work sleep disorder better than before.

7. Drink Water In The Morning

Not drinking enough water can be the reason you’re finding it hard to sleep, it may be basic, but the fundamental parts of being human are generally what causes most issues. If you don’t drink, sleep, eat, or move enough, one of these things will be causing the issue you’re finding annoying.

Headaches can be a result of not drinking enough or eating enough or getting enough fresh air.

As a rule of thumb, check if you’ve done all these things before taking any medication is the best thing to do. So, have you had enough water enough today?

8. Putting Your Legs On the Wall Upright

This pose is great for post-workout recovery! It improves circulation, boosts energy levels, alleviates stress, and reduces pain. It’s called “inversion“ because it’s exactly like a handstand except you’re upside down instead of standing straight up.

It’s a great way to relieve lower back aches and help prevent injury. Poses like this can help relieve pain and exertion from doing a night shift.

9. Get Enough Restful Sleep

You may be getting those naps in between night shifts, but are you actually getting enough full restful sleep? If not, then this could be your issue, and you should try to induce more restful sleep into your routine to see if that helps. 

Another issue could be that you share your bed and your sleep schedule is different from your partner. If you are married, or cohabitate, or are just thinking of someone special and it’s keeping you awake, you will need to create a better environment for sleep.  I always say, “sleep is an individual sport”, so you will want to make your your partner isn’t contributing to the problem.

10. Wear Socks And Gloves To Bed

This is an odd one, but the easiest way to explain what’s actually happening behind the gloves/socks thing is that when your body warms up, it can send signals to your brain saying “it’s time to go to sleep”. As soon as it gets those signals, it can put you in a much better mood for shutting down and getting some sleep

Can’t Sleep After A Night Shift? 13 Odd Tips That Can Actually Work

If you’re feeling cold at night, try using a heating pad. You can also put a hot water bottle under your pillow. Or, if you have a pet, see if you can get them to stay on your feet while you sleep. Your feet will thank you later!

11. Good Old Classic Counting Sheep

This is an old time technique for relaxing and calming the mind. Similar to meditation, the goal is to try and focus your mind on one thing at a time. In this instance, counting. This serves to keep your mind from wandering endlessly.

It can be really difficult to do, but when you are trying to focus on counting, you will want to make sure to bring your mind back to counting numbers once it wanders. Your mind will inevitably wander as your brainwaves are continual energy.  The goal is to harness the energy and bring your mind back to one single focused goal, counting.

Give it a try and if it feels to difficult, try getting out of bed and sitting while you focus on counting.  Sometimes laying in bed when your mind is wandering can keep you from actually falling asleep. If you get out of bed and go sit in a quiet place and focus on counting, it can eventually make you tired and you will want to crawl back into bed and finally sleep.

12. Relaxing Music Is Good

The classic take on relaxing music has been proven to help people sleep for centuries, we nurse our children to sleep with lullabies, we listen to music to drift off, and we use music to exercise.

It’s the classic thing we use more than we think, so see if some relaxing music like classical or jazz can trick your brain into a easier pattern of falling sleep.

13. Acupressure

Acupressure is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that dates back thousands of years. It is considered an alternative therapy in Western medicine and it focuses on stimulating specific points in your body to promote blood flow, relaxation and sleep.

There are many benefits to acupressure including pain relief, stress reduction, and improved immunity. It also helps with digestive issues, headaches, and other conditions.

Acupressure works similarly to acupuncture but instead of needles, you place small thumb or finger pads on certain areas of your body.

There are many products you can use like an acupressure mat, or an acupressure neck and pillow set, that can help you to get the benefit or this type of therapy for sleep.

Why Are Night Shifts Bad For Our Sleeping Patterns?

Circadian rhythms are so ingrained in our bodies that working the night shift can throw them out of whack.

People naturally wake up during the day and go to bed at night. But if you work the night shift, you’ll often wake up in the middle of the night and stay awake until morning because you’ve thrown your circadian clock out of whack.

Working rotating shifts disrupts your internal clock and throws your body out of sync with the sun. That means you may experience insomnia or other symptoms like fatigue, low energy levels, mood swings, and poor concentration.

Restorative sleep is super important for your health. Sleep helps you regenerate and heal from one day to the next. When you are having trouble sleeping, life gets a lot more difficult. Nobody is at their best when they are tired from lack of sleep.

When we’re awake, our bodies are constantly working. But when we go to bed, we need to give our bodies time to repair themselves. That means having a routine and going to sleep at the same time every night, getting enough sleep each night, and waking up at the same time every morning is the best way to combat the problem when you can’t sleep after a night shift..

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is important to note that easysleepguide.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment options. 

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Easy Sleep Guide

We are a group of individuals who have a fascination, with the world of sleep and dreams. Our website and social media community were created with the purpose of educating and informing our audience about every aspect of sleep. We cover everything from tips to the advancements in sleep technology. Our team, consisting of real life experts works tirelessly to curate top quality content that offers an understanding of sleep related topics. We take pride in being your trusted source, for all things related to sleep providing insights and knowledge to help you achieve an revitalizing sleep experience.

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