How to Sleep in the Day
As a species, humans are hardwired to be active in the daytime and sleep during the night. Although some people struggle with achieving a decent night’s sleep, most of us have little trouble in adopting a typical day/night schedule. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to reserve the night solely for sleep. Nocturnal working hours mean many people are forced to utilise the daylight hours for sleep, while others may be simply looking to catch up on their rest.
Sleeping during the day can prove difficult, with light intrusion and a multitude of other daytime distractions making it almost impossible to settle down. However, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of drifting off during the day.
Cut Out Caffeine and Other Stimulants
Avoiding stimulants like caffeine is something everyone should do, regardless of what time of the day they are looking to sleep. However, avoiding caffeine can be incredibly difficult for those working night shifts, with many people leaning on stimulants to help them through demanding shift schedules. If you must consume caffeine during the night, try to limit your consumption to your initial shift stages. As the night wears on, cut out caffeine entirely.
Light exposure is also something you should be looking to avoid if you want to ensure the best chance of getting some sleep during the daytime. If you have worked a long night shift, try and limit exposure to the sun as you return home as ultraviolet radiation is a natural stimulant. This is relatively easy if you have access to your own vehicle for the commute home. However, if you rely on public transport, think about wearing shades during your trip home to limit UV exposure. Once home, ensure the drapes remain drawn at all times. Wearing an eye mask is also a good way of improving sleep quality if you’re resting during the daytime.
Create a Silent Sleep Sanctuary
During the night, most of the world winds down. You may notice the occasional sound of a car driving by or plane flying overhead, but for the most part, the world outside remains silent. This isn’t the case during the daytime. There will be far more traffic on the roads, while pedestrian noise will be considerable. If you live in an urban area, noise levels may prove unbearable. Wearing earplugs is essential if you plan on sleeping during the day.
Stick to a Schedule
Long-term night shift work is probably something you wan to avoid, but it shouldn’t cause any harm in the short term. However, it’s important to remain consistent with your schedule if you hope to achieve quality daytime sleep on a regular basis. Try and limit night shifts to the same days of the week and don’t stray too far from your hourly schedule. Even if you struggle to get enough sleep during daylight hours, you can compensate for any sleep debt by indulging in the occasional nap.