Sleep is essential to a healthy life. If we do not get enough hours of kip on a constant basis, our bodies can be put under immense amounts of pressure and stress. The physical effects of sleep deprivation can make working and driving dangerous. A large percentage of road traffic accidents are caused by tired drivers, some of whom were not even awake at the wheel. Workers in charge of industrial machinery can also put themselves and co-workers at risk of injury if they work whilst tired.
It is easy for most of us to get enough sleep on a nightly basis, getting into bed as the sun goes down and rising after it gets lighter. In winter it is even easier to get to sleep as the nights are so much darker, although most people would rather stay in bed than having to get up in the dark!
However, for night workers it can be difficult getting to sleep, especially if they have recently changed from day shifts. There are several factors that can prevent us from getting to sleep and staying in a deep slumber once we enter the land of nod. Noises entering the room, the light levels and source of light, and also our bed can determine the quality of our sleep.
You can adapt your bedroom in various ways which should make sleeping through the day easier. Of course, if you are totally wiped out you will be able to sleep anytime throughout the day, but for those of you who need a little help, take on board some of these tips and sleeping might be easier for you.
Hang lined curtains in your bedroom instead of blinds, nets or thin drapes. Not only will lined curtains stop more sunlight entering the room than any of these other types of window dressing, they can also limit the amount of noise that you hear. Most curtain linings have acoustic as well as thermal insulation properties. This means that road and street noise is lowered so high amounts of traffic will not disturb you during the day. They can also help you to stay warm or cool during extreme weather conditions, so sleep shouldn’t be disrupted by your body changing temperature.
If you need to be in pitch black before you can get to sleep, think about attaching a blackout lining onto your existing curtains. This will plunge your room into total darkness whenever the curtains are drawn.
You should make sure that the duvet and pillows you use are right for the temperature of your room. Getting too hot or cold during the time you are sleeping can make you wake up and also stop you from falling back to sleep. Change your duvets between winter and summer months from a high tog to a thinner duvet. This will stop you from overheating or getting too cold.
Making some house rules is also a good idea if you are the only person in your house that needs to sleep during the day. If you have a family, make sure that your children do not disturb you between certain hours. Ask flatmates to try and keep the noise down if they are going to be in the house whilst you are trying to sleep. This way you are guaranteed an uninterrupted time when you can sleep. You should also turn your mobile phone onto silent and divert all house calls.
Trying out some of these techniques should help you if your work forces you to sleep during in the day. They will turn your bedroom into a dark and peaceful haven in which you can fall into utter relaxation. The best bit is that none of the tips will force you to redecorate or buy expensive sleeping aides like sound simulators.