NARPO – The voice of retired police officers
NARPO – The voice of retired police officers

Get enough good sleep – To avoid fatigue, shift workers need to get as close to 7–8 hours of sleep as possible, which is the average amount of sleep for most adults.

Protect sleep – It’s important to block out any noise and make your bedroom as dark as possible. You should also keep a regular sleep routine and make sure you have a comfortable bed.

Exercise – Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise before work can help you wake up and get going. Try to avoid exercise before sleep as this can activate your body and might make it difficult to fall asleep.

Relaxation techniques – Being able to wind down and take it easy is just as important as being able to wake up and get going. Give yourself time to relax and get rid of worktime stresses.

Diet – Heavy or fatty meals should be avoided, especially in the middle of the night, because they are the most difficult to digest at that time. Eating lighter meals instead.

Bright light – Keep your workplace brightly lit to promote alertness. If you’re working at night, expose yourself to bright light when you wake up but avoid bright light on the way home so it’s easier to fall asleep.

Limit caffeine – Drinking a cup of coffee at the beginning of your shift can help promote alertness. But don’t consume caffeine later in the shift or you may have trouble falling asleep when you get home.

Avoid alcohol before sleep – Don’t be tempted to drink alcohol to help you sleep as alcohol actually disturbs sleep.