|This is most certainly how I will look when I am dead...
So I have done up some uber quick tips to soothe the tired eyes and souls on my dear hearts. Please utilise the comments section if you wish me to clarify anything at all.
MY MOST IMPORTANT POINT IS THIS: Create a sleep pattern - just like you do for a baby or toddler. Create routine, relaxation and activities conducive to resting the mind to trigger sleep. Hah hah hah hah.... I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing! I currently wear my baby like a brooch because all my sleep training just went to poop and I haven't slept in two weeks. Hah hah hah!!!! But, seriously, we are adults, so get serious with your sleep.
So go slip into something fluffy, and let's get dozy....
PRIOR TO / DURING YOUR SHIFT:
1. Don't drink energy drinks. Ever. No matter how tired you are at work. They are poison... like smoking. Speaking of which why is it that that our night working nurses with their tucked in angel-wings are such big smokers? Is it because they just want to take a break to breathe? That's food (or fresh air, healthy lungs, and not dying on a respirator) for thought. Exercise before work or pump out some squats and push ups during your shift instead... this will give you the (healthy) buzz you need and release some of that shitty cortisol stress hormone as well.
2. Get a low voltage aroma-burner and throw in some lavender oil and water just before you go to work. Or sprinkle lavender on pillows and bed clothes.
3. No Facebook/ TV/ instragram / twitter./ fluorescent lights/ exercise 2 hours before bed. It will fluff with your REM and stop melatonin production for a lovely vampiric state. Put your phone outside your room on silent. Break the addiction people! Read a book or write in a journal instead. Journal writing before bed is now the number one therapy being used for P.T.S.D. It gives your rational brain the chance to download, giving your subconscious permission to do the dance of the seven sleepy veils.
4. Take Chelated Magnesium (2-4 tablets depending on how much you train/ how constipated/ how bad your restless legs are) at about 4-5am in the morning. It works. I am not wrong.
5. Get home safely without crashing the car by listening to loud music and making blue tooth phone calls. Wear SUNGLASSES to protect you from telling the brain it wants to be awake.
6. Draw the blackout blinds to activate melatonin. I can always tell a young night workers house by the use of al-foil on the bedroom windows. Tacky, but effective... I personally would prefer a trip to Spotlight and a fight with a cordless drill (hah hah hah.... laughing again because I know nothing about drills).
7. Have a cup of herbal tea. Put a bottle of water beside your bed. Dehydration will be the reason you feel like you have a hang-over when you wake up.
8. Eat a bowl of oats with crushed walnuts. Complex carbs are the key to good sleep and healing broken hearts.... seriously. Protein will stop you waking up hungry. Don't argue with me about this either...
9. Have a shower that includes exfoliation and straight leg stretches finished with a coconut oil moisturise and calf rub. Yes, you can do all of this while standing/ bending over in the shower. It's marvellous for restless legs... the number one reason people go insane while trying to get to sleep.
10. Use a pedestal fan. Even in winter. It is awesome white noise and it stops restless legs (that's a great tip for pregnant ladies too). Don't know why.... it just does. And avoid air-conditioning (or only have it on a timer) because it will dry out your sinuses and you will pay for that beginners mistake. Air conditioning also makes you fat.
PLUS.... keep your poos in order with fermented foods and this post. Pooing and sleeping should ALWAYS be regular, painless and a pleasure.
And should you go to sleep during the day on your last shift? I almost always did. The days I didn't always ended BADLY. And with alcohol. My QPS Field Training Officer (Garry Sweet... yes, seriously, that was his name) gave me sage night work sleep advice: You lost that sleep, you need to catch it up. Don't give up a day. By the end of my career I would sleep a solid 8-12 hour day. But I always felt like I was heading to a funeral at 10pm and would dream of sleeping in gutters as I was driving around during the night because NIGHT WORK IS FREAKING SOUL DESTROYING.
We are lucky we have you working for us. Thank you. There is a special place in heaven for night workers... fragrant with lavender oil, goose down pillows and dark, quiet, children-free rooms. God bless you all.