Night shifts and sleep patterns

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Between the ages of 25 and 45, it is not unusual for people to do night work with staggered or irregular hours. Working in this way means that your sleep pattern has to be adapted. So here’s some useful advice for making the most of your daily rest.

When you get back from work, regardless of the time of day, have a cool shower. This will bring your body temperature down slightly, which will help you get to sleep. Then try to get at least 7 hours sleep in any 24-hour period.

During the day, however, it can be difficult to sleep for more than 5 or 6 hours at a time, so try to incorporate a one or two-hour nap later on. It’s also very important to block out noise: close the bedroom door, unplug the phone and leave a note on the front door.

If you have any problems, go and see your GP or your occupational health physician. A few weeks before you go to see the doctor, start keeping a “sleep diary”. This will give him an insight into your sleeping habits and give him a better understanding of what might be causing your problems.

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