Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

How to Prioritise Sleep and Mental Health for Night Shift Workers?

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Ayushi Jain

sleep and mental health

In this progressing society, night-shift work has become an inevitable part of many industries, from healthcare to manufacturing. 

While this set-up provides 24/7 services to customers, it also poses challenges to workers, concerning sleep and stable mental health.

Both are interdependent, and the disruption of one leads to issues with the other.

The focus of this article is to provide you with strategies to prioritize sleep and a sound mind. 

These guidelines offer you a comprehensive approach, from setting napping schedules to seeking professional guidance for problems related to work hours.

Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule

sleep and mental health for workers

For employees working at night, organizing a sleep schedule is the key to getting a good nap. Consistency will help your body to adjust, thereby improving resting quality and duration.

Consider using a sleep tracker to monitor your napping patterns and make necessary adjustments. They also help you for better mental and emotional health for night shift workers.

Irregular sleep can lead to insomnia and increased stress, both of which can have harmful effects on mental well-being. 

Consider making a schedule that lets you rest for 7–8 hours without any interruption, and you will start to see the benefits.

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Creating a better environment to rest in is necessary. Blackout curtains, white noise machines, and comfortable bedding can all contribute to creating a sleep sanctuary. 

Temperature regulation is also helpful, keeping a room cool can ease the body’s natural resting process. Keep electronic devices out of sight and minimise exposure to blue light, which can interfere with melatonin production.

A comfortable space lets you fall asleep early and ensures your sweet sleep time. You will be able to safeguard your sanity and will get the strength to fight against the stress that comes with working late hours.

Fun Fact About Sleeping You Didn’t Know?
12% of people dream entirely in black and white.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Intake

Managing the intake of stimulants like caffeine and depressants like alcohol is a good way to look after your body. 

While caffeine offers you a temporary energy boost, the large amount of caffeine messes with your sleep schedule and keeps you awake.

It is advised to limit caffeine to the morning and avoid it at least 4–6 hours before going to bed. 

Alcohol also seems like a medicine that lets you fall asleep, but in reality, it decreases the rest quality and harms you in the long process.

Consuming these products will worsen your mental stability in the long run. It would be better to lessen the intake of these products. 

Use Sleep Aids Mindfully

The sleeping aids should be used with caution and taken under medical supervision. These aids may help you with sleeping issues, but they come with side effects that risk your sanity and well-being.

If you’re considering using an aid, consult a doctor first. Get the treatment according to your health needs and body requirements.

Relying heavily on these aids can cause you to be dependent on them, and it may further aggravate health issues such as anxiety or depression.

Consider these aids as the last resort and use natural methods to improve sleep. 

Incorporate Relaxation Techniques

Include relaxing techniques in your daily routine. Practices such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation can be used to lower stress levels and let you fall asleep. These techniques will help you to get your mind off the work. 

Try to give at least 10-15 minutes to this practice before bedtime.

Balance Work-Life Demands

Achieving a work-life balance is a must for every employee out there. The late hours of working interfere with social activities and family commitments, leading to feelings of isolation and increased stress. 

You must remember to give time to personal activities and relationships. Use your off day to replenish the energy. Effective time management can help take out some much-needed personal time.

Seek Professional Guidance

sleeping problems stats

The above statistics show that sleeping issues cause many problems for you that will require professional guidance.

If you are suffering from severe insomnia or unstable sanity, seeking professional guidance would be a valuable step. Specialists and psychiatrists will offer you better treatment options. 

Those professionals will let you know the exact illness and will provide the best cure for you.

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, managing the condition effectively is cardinal, or you may find resources for treatment options online and CPAP machines through this link.

This article helps you to get familiar with the tools and strategies needed to improve your health. It’s an investment that can result in improved job satisfaction and a better quality of life.

Foster Social Support Networks

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a strong social support network is a much-needed part of life. Social networks don’t let you feel isolated in this fast-paced world and keep you engaged.

Maintaining healthy relationships with friends, family, and even coworkers can give you a break from stress and other mental health challenges. You should make an effort to stay socially connected. 

A strong social network provides you with emotional support that can make it easier to cope with stress. By nurturing social relationships, you’re improving your ability to manage stress.


The work hours are not supposed to take a toll on your body, but the circumstances make it inevitable. Instead, you can use these strategies to make your bedtime cycle better and let you live a better life.

Adopt a better lifestyle and look for professional advice if the symptoms stay for a long time. Sleep and sanity are the most valuable assets in your life, so look after them and have a comfortable life!